The Supreme Court on Monday recalled its controversial judgment scrapping the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) for admission to MBBS, BDS and PG courses in all medical colleges, saying it was delivered by a majority verdict without any discussion among members of the bench headed by former Chief Justice of India Altamas Kabir on the day of his retirement.
The verdict paved the way for Medical Council of India and Dental Council of India to conduct NEET for admission to medical and dental courses offered in all medical and dental colleges across the country. It is likely to have an impact on thousands of medical aspirants across the nation, particularly in Tamil Nadu, where admission for State government quota seats in medical colleges is done based on marks scored in the Class XII examination.
A five-judge Constitution Bench headed by Justice A R Dave in Monday’s ruling said the July 18, 2013, 2:1 verdict of the three-judge Bench, which had paved the way for private colleges to conduct their own examination, needs reconsideration as the majority view has not taken into account some binding precedents.
Fifteen per cent of seats in all medical colleges, both private and government, are filled up under the all-India quota. In Tamil Nadu, where entrance examination was scrapped in 2005, 85 per cent of seats in government medical colleges and a certain percentage of seats in private colleges are filled under the government quota and admission for these seats are done based on the merit list prepared on the basis of Class XII marks.
Conducting the NEET for State government seats is against the State’s right, principal of social justice and reservation policies, said G R Ravindranath, general secretary, Doctors Association for Social Equality. The Centre can have national entrance test for all-India quota, seats in Central government medical institutions like AIIMS, JIPMER, Deemed Universities while the admission for State quota seats should be left to the State governments, he added.
The NEET mandates that the students score minimum marks and if those, who are eligible for reservation, fail to get the minimum marks, the seats allocated to them will go to the general quota, which will affect the reservation policy of the State government, he explained.
With this SC order, the Central Board for Secondary Education could issue notification for the NEET exam anytime, even for this academic year, he feared and urged the State government to take legal recourse to safeguard the interests of students.
In Karnataka, the verdict puts a question mark on the CET and entrance exam conducted by private colleges, ComedK, for medical and dental courses. Institutions like Manipal University conduct their own test.
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Source: The New Indian Express.