New Delhi: Government on Friday faced the ire of
the Supreme Court for expressing its unwillingness to go ahead
with the first-ever common National Eligibility-cum-Entrance
Test (NEET) for all MBBS courses across the country.
The apex court said it will "not become party" to the
decision of the government which sought deferment of the
common entrance examination by one year to 2013.
"Either we will reject your application or you withdraw
your application. Whatever you want to do you can do but we
are not going to be party to your decision," a bench
comprising justices HL Dattu and CK Prasad said.
"All this order (for the single entrance test) was passed
after hearing you (centre). You said draft rules and
regulations were in place for implementing it in the academic
year 2012-13," the bench said.
"This court will not be a party (to your decision). We
will not be party to all these regulations. Why will we be
party to it (for deferring the CEE). Why are you bringing this
court in this matter. You better start and withdraw this
application," the bench said.
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare had moved an
application seeking court`s order in this regard saying that
some state governments have expressed reservation to switch
over to the new system and wanted students to get acquainted
with the syllabus prescribed by the Medical Council of India.
It was also reported that the West Bengal Government had
expressed preference to continue with the Joint Entrance
Examination Board for all colleges in the state and Chief
Minister Mamata Banerjee had written a letter to the health
minister on August 11.
The apex court in March this year had cleared the deck
for the Centre and the Medical Council of India (MCI) to hold
a common entrance test for the MBBS and PG courses despite
objections raised by some state governments and first among
them was Tamil Nadu.
The MCI had also moved an application that the CEE for PG
courses be kept in abeyance. However, after court expressed
its displeasure, both Centre and the MCI withdrew their pleas.
CBSE had earlier filed an affidavit detailing the NEET-UG
schedule, for which online submissions of applications began
on December 1 and last date for receipt of applications is
December 16. The test was to be held on May 13, 2012 with
results to be declared in the last week of June.
It had also stated that West Bengal Government wants
students being given the option of answering the test
in Bengali language.
The chief ministers of Maharashtra, Assam, Andhra Pradesh
and Karnataka requested the Union health minister for
exemption from NEET 2012 on the ground that students would
require some more time to switch over to the new system and
get fully acquainted with the syllabus prescribed by the
Medical Council of India.
Maharashtra, Gujarat and Goa showed readiness to join
NEET from 2013-14 but AP sought exemption for two years,
saying it would join from 2014-15, the health ministry had
It had said "the government of India is of the strong
view that instead of hurriedly implementing NEET from
academic year 2012, it would be in the fitness of things if
the same is introduced in a more planned manner from the
academic year 2013-14 onwards.
"The interim period would be utilized to complete
preparation for the exam both at the level of CBSE as well as
MCI and efforts shall also be made to bring on board the
states which are seeking exemption from NEET due to various
reasons," it said.