Govt faces SC ire over common entrance for MBBS
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Last Updated: Friday, December 16, 2011, 18:45
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 said.

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.


First Published: Friday, December 16, 2011, 18:45

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