Monday, May 9, 2016

SC nullifies medical tests held by states, private colleges

All admissions in MBBS/BDS courses in government and private medical colleges or in deemed universities will be done this year only on the basis of National Eligibility Entrance Test, the Supreme Court said on Monday, ending the confusion over the validity of examinations held by states and private institutions. 

A bench of Justices A R Dave, Shiva Kirti Singh and A K Goel said NEET does not infringe upon the rights of state governments or private institutions and that the single-window test must be applied from the current academic year itself. 

The bench also asked the three-member oversight committee, headed by former Chief Justice R M Lodha, to oversee NEET-II. 

Several states, universities and private colleges conducted entrance tests in the last fortnight when the SC was hearing their pleas to allow them to admit students on the basis of their tests, but Monday's order nullifies them. Now they will have to follow NEET and admit students on the basis of their performance in the single-window test.

Although NEET II is scheduled for July 24, the Supreme Court allowed CBSE and Centre to reschedule the examination date in case of logistical problems. 

Exams by AIIMS, PGIMER will be valid

The Supreme Court bench on Monday made it clear that those students who had appeared for NEET-I held on May 1 would be allowed to take second phase of NEET but their marks in previous test would stand scrapped. 

"To allay any such apprehension, we direct that all eligible candidates who could not appear in NEET-I or have apprehensions 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. 

However, examinations conducted by AIIMS and PGIMER for their MBBS seats would go on as they are regulated by Central legislation. "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 NEET nor rights of minorities are in any manner affected by NEET. NEET only provides for conducting entrance test for eligibility for admission to the MBBS/BDS courses," the bench said. 

The top court refused to modify its April 28 order which directed implementation of NEET for 2016-17 academic year itself. It said that NEET only provides for conducting entrance tests and it did not violate special provisions on reservation in colleges and rights of minority institutions. 

"To ensure total credibility of the examination to be held by CBSE, the oversight committee appointed by this court shall also oversee NEET-II examination to be conducted by CBSE," it said. 

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