States can't conduct their own tests for admission to medical colleges: Supreme Court

States can't conduct their own tests for admission to medical colleges: Supreme Court

The NEET-2 would take place on July 24.
NEW DELHI: All admissions to MBBS/BDS courses in private, government medical colleges or in deemed universities will be done only on the basis of the National Eligibility Entrance Test(NEET), the Supreme Court on Monday said, ending the confusion over the validity of medical examinations conducted by states and private colleges.

A bench of Justices A R Dave, Shiva Kirti Singh and A K Goel said that NEET did not infringe upon the rights of the state governments or the private institutions and the single-window test must be applied from this academic year itself. The bench also asked the three-member high-powered oversight committee headed by former Chief Justice R M Lodha to oversee the NEET-II.

Several states, universities and private colleges had conducted entrance tests during the last fortnight while the Supreme Court was hearing their pleas to allow them to admit students on the basis of their examinations but after Monday's order, they would have to follow the NEET and would have to admit students on the basis of their performance in the single-window test.

Although the NEET-II is scheduled for July 24, the Supreme Court allowed the CBSE and the Centre to reschedule the examination date in case they faced difficulty due to logistic problems. The bench also made it clear that those students who had appeared for the NEET-I held on May 1 would be allowed to take second phase of NEET but their marks in previous test would stand scrapped.

"Prima facie, we do not find any infirmity in the NEET regulation on the ground that it affects the rights of the States or the private institutions. Special provisions for reservation of any category are not subject matter of the NEET nor rights of minority are in any manner affected by NEET. NEET only provides for conducting entrance test for eligibility for admission to the MBBS/BDS course," the bench said .

The top court refused to modify its order passed on April 28 by which it had directed the implementation of the NEET for 2016-17 academic year and dismissed pleas filed by various state governments and private institutions. It said that NEET only provides for conducting entrance tests and it did not violate special provision on reservation in colleges and rights of minority institutions.

Examination conducted by AIIMS and PGIMER for their MBBS seats would go on as they were being regulated by central legislation.

In a relief to students who did not take first phase of NEET seriously as they were more focused towards state exams, the court granted them another opportunity to crack the test by appearing in second phase of NEET.

"To allay any such apprehension, we direct that all such eligible candidates who could not appear in NEET-I and those who had appeared but have apprehension that they had not prepared well, be permitted to appear in NEET-II, subject to seeking an option from the said candidates to give up their candidature for NEET-I," it said.

"We may also add here that to ensure total credibility of the examination to be held by the CBSE, the oversight committee appointed by this court shall also oversee the NEET-II examination to be conducted by the CBSE. In view of the above, it is also clarified that only NEET would enable students to get admission to MBBS or BDS studies," it said.

Although the SC revived NEET but the Centre and CBSE were not taking steps to implement it this year and NGO Sankalap Charitable Trust moved the SC through its advocate Amit Kumar for its implementation. Accepting its plea, the top court directed to apply the NEET for the current academic year.

Lakhs of students appear for various medical entrance examinations for admission in more than 400 colleges and there are more than 52,000 seats available for MBBS courses. Around 6.5 lakh students appeared for All India Pre-Medical and Pre-Dental Entrance Test (AIPMT) conducted on May 1 which was converted into NEET phase one.


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