New Delhi: Brushing aside strong objections from Andhra Pradesh, Telangana state, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and several private associations of medical colleges, the Supreme Court on Thursday directed the holding of National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test in two phases for admissions to medical and dental courses for 2016-2017 across the country.
In the schedule given by the Centre, the Medical Council of India and CBSE and approved by a three-judge bench of Justices Anil R. Dave, Shiva Kirti Singh and A.K. Goel, the All India Pre-Medical Test to be held on May 1 will be treated as Neet-1, while Neet-2 will be held on July 24, and the combined results announced on August 17.
Admissions will be completed by September 30. The examination will be held in pursuance of the notifications of December 21, 2010 by the Medical Council of India and Dental Council of India.
The bench said: “The CBSE will provide all-India rank. “The admitting authorities will invite applications for counselling and the merit list shall be drawn based on the all-India rank. All associated with the conduct of the examination, including the Central government, state government institutions, police, etc will extend all support to the CBSE and permit security measures like the use of electronic and communication device jammers for timely and fair conduct of Neet,” the bench added.
Supreme Court ‘Neetly’ overruled objections
The States of Tamil nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and several other private institutions strongly opposed the holding of NEET this year and urged the Supreme Court not to pass any such order as it will affect lakhs of students who proposed to take the tests.
Senior counsel L. Nageswara Rao, appearing for Tamil nadu brought to the notice of a three-judge Bench of Justices Anil R. Dave, Shiva Kirti Singh and A.K. Goel that the State had abolished entrance examination for admission to all courses from 2007 and admissions are being done on the basis of higher secondary marks only. He said over four lakh students in Tamil Nadu who had taken this year’s 12th examination did not have any opportunity to prepare or appear for any entrance test in the State. He said imposing the NEET on them and compelling them to write an entrance will cause hardship and suffering to the students.
Senior counsel P.P. Rao, appearing for AP told the court that the State was protected by the Presidential Order issued under Article 371D of the Constitution and NEET cannot be thrust on them. He said the entrance test in the State is to be held tomorrow which cannot be stopped at this stage. He cited various judgments to drive home the point that the State cannot be brought under NEET. Senior counsel Harin Ravel, appearing for Telangana endorsed AP’s stand and said the Constitutional protection cannot be taken away in the guise of NEET.
K.K. Venugopal, appea-ring for Karnataka private medical colleges association said over 1.50 lakh students will take this year’s entrance test to be conducted by the Association on May 8. He said since more than Rs. 8 crores had already been spent for the test, it cannot be stopped at this stage. Similar oppositions were voiced by counsel for colleges in UP and other States.
However, Additional Solicitor General Pinky Anand, justified the NEET and said it will be applicable to all the States and colleges throughout the country. Referring to TN’s stand, she said even in 2013 students from Tamil Nadu participated and for the May 1 test over 15,000 students are appearing from the State. She said the court should not take note of the objections and allow NEET from this year itself.
On April 11, the SC had recalled its controversial judgement scrapping single common entrance test for admission to MBBS, BDS and PG courses in all medical colleges, delivered by then Chief Justice of India Altamas Kabir on the day of his retirement.
Tamil Nadu strongly objected to NEET and said there is no culture of entrance exams in the state since 2007.