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SC clears decks to hold NEET for medical seats

The Supreme Court cleared the decks for holding of National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET), a single common entrance test for admission to MBBS and BDS courses, in two phases for the academic year 2016-17 in which around 6.5 lakh candidates are likely to appear.

SC clears decks to hold NEET for medical seats
Supreme Court of India

New Delhi

The apex court approved the schedule put before it by the Centre, CBSE and the Medical Medical Council of India (MCI) for treating All India Pre-Medical Test (AIPMT) fixed for May 1 as NEET-1 and those who have not applied for AIPMT will be given opportunity to appear in NEET-II on July 24 and the combined result would be declared on August 17 so that admission can be completed by September 30.

The order would imply all government colleges, deemed universities and private medical colleges would be covered under NEET and examinations which have already taken place or slated to be conducted separately stand scrapped. 

The order, ending all uncertainty, was pronounced after rejecting the opposition for holding NEET by states including Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and Association of Karnataka Medical Colleges besides minority institutions like CMC Vellore which had contended that NEET cannot be imposed on them.

The apex court order also revives the Government’s December 21, 2010, notification for holding single common entrance test through NEET with a clarification that any challenge on the issue would directly come before it and no high court can interfere in it. The court was of the view that since it has recalled its April 11 order, there was no hindrance in holding the single entrance test. 

“In view of the submissions made on behalf of the respondents (Centre, CBSE, MCI), we record that NEET shall be held as stated by the respondents. We further clarify that notwithstanding any order passed by any Court earlier with regard to not holding NEET, this order shall operate. Therefore, no further order is required to be passed at this stage,” a bench comprising Justices AR Dave, Shiva Kirti Singh and AK Goel said. 

Tamil Nadu, through senior advocate L Nageshwar Rao, strongly objected to NEET and said there is no culture of entrance exams in the state since 2007 in view of a prevailing legislation and the marks secured in Class XII is considered as qualifying marks to make a level-playing field for the rural students. 

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