New Delhi: The Supreme Court will on Friday hear the Centre's reply to petitions challenging the National Eligibility Entrance Exam (NEET).
The apex court had on Thursday asked the central governments if the states which have conducted their own entrance exams for admission to under graduate medical courses could be exempted from NEET for this year and whether the students who had appeared for NEET-I could sit for NEET-II.
The query came as a battery of senior lawyers representing different states told the bench of Justice Anil R Dave, Justice Shiva Kirti Singh and Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel that students who had their schooling in their mother tongue would be put to disadvantage if asked to write their NEET exam in English.
Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar is scheduled to respond to the queries posed by the bench this afternoon.
However, he had on Thursday said that around 40,000 students, out of more than six lakh who had to appear in NEET-I but did not take the exam in favour of some other state level exams, may be permitted to appear in NEET-II on July 24.
As court sought the solicitor general's response whether students who had appeared in NEET-I could take another chance, Additional Solicitor General Pinki Anand appearing for Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) said if not impossible, it would be difficult to conduct the exam by giving repeat chance to those who had appeared in NEET-I held on May 1.
The Medical Council of India (MCI), meanwhile, urged the court that if it decides to permit another chance to the students who had appeared in NEET-I, then it should be made clear that such students would lose any claim to the outcome of NEET-I.
At the outset of the hearing, the court made it clear that so long it has not stayed the operation of NEET or modified its April 11 and subsequent orders, NEET was the only avenue for admission in medical courses for current academic year.
It cleared the stand as some lawyers sought clarification on the media report that said that the top court has permitted the conduct of entrance exams by state governments and the association of private medical colleges.
The apex court had on April 29 said the entrance test for admission to MBBS and BDS courses for the academic year 2016-17 will be held as per the schedule through the two-phased common entrance test NEET on May 1 and July 24.
On April 28, the court had rejected 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.
The apex court order had implied that all government colleges, deemed universities and private medical colleges would be covered under NEET and those examinations which have already taken place or slated to be conducted separately stand scrapped.
It had also revived the government's December 21, 2010 notification for holding a 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.
(With Agency inputs)