In a complete change in its stance, the Supreme Court has now paved the way for the single common entrance exam that will be held for all medical courses both in government and private colleges across the country. The entrance test will now be conducted under the National Eligibility-Entrance Test (NEET) and will cover over 600 private medical colleges in the country. The apex court had earlier admitted the review petition filed by Central government and MCI, thus paving the way for re-implementation of the common entrance test.
The Supreme Court on Thursday gave the green signal for the CBSE to hold the National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET) 2016-17 in two phases and approved the Medical Council of India’s schedule. The common entrance exams for undergraduate medical and dental courses will be held on May 1, 2016, and July 24, 2016, followed by result declaration on August 17. The schedule for counselling and admission will be notified in due time. A Bench of Justices Anil R. Dave, S.K. Singh and A.K. Goel revived the implementation of common entrance test NEET across all States, amit the strong protests from States like Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh.
In July 2013, the apex court had quashed the proposal by the Medical Council of India (MCI) for the implementation of NEET. It had said that MCI had no power to conduct examinations on its own, and can only regulate medical education. The council had then filed a review petition against the directive.
Earlier, the Centre and Medical Council of India (MCI) came out with a proposal to consider the All India PMT exam in May be treated as the first phase of NEET and the second phase is held on July 24. However, the decision to hold the NEET was opposed by states including Tamil Nadu and Association of Karnataka Medical Colleges besides minority institutions like CMC Vellore, terming it ‘illegal and unconstitutional’.
The Tamil Nadu government had ‘strongly’ objected the proposal of single national-level entrance exam for medical admissions and even contended that such procedure would prove hindrance to rural students. The matter was even raised in Parliament by the leaders of AIADMK in March which demanded the withdrawal of the review petition by MCI.
As per the NEET schedule submitted by the CBSE, the All India Pre-medical/Pre-dental Entrance Test, scheduled for May 1 will be considered as NEET-1. For NEET-1 (AIPMT), around 6,67,637 are expected to appear from 1,040 centres in 52 cities, including abroad. This will protect the interests of students who had left their homes for the exam and have fully prepared for it. For the remaining candidates, NEET-2 will be held and the entire process, from the collection of information from the States to declaration of results, will begin from May 7.
According to a research study, it was found that as many as 90 entrance examinations are being held by private and government authorities separately every year which ultimately results in shelling out lakhs of rupees in taking the examination.