Health Ministry opposed HRD`s move for Medical, Engineering CET
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Last Updated: Friday, November 12, 2010, 22:20
New Delhi: The Union Health Ministry on Friday disfavoured in the Supreme Court the HRD Ministry's proposal for a Common Entrance Tests (CET) for medical and engineering courses across the country saying it would pose "practical and logistical difficulties."

The Ministry, in an affidavit filed through the Director General Health Services (DGHS), said it was not in favour of CET at present due to the complexity involved.

"The answering respondent (DGHS) respectfully submits that on careful consideration, it is not at this stage in favour of an integrated entrance examination for medical and engineering streams,", the affidavit filed before a Bench of Justices R V Raveendran and A K Patnaik said.

The Bench later adjourned the matter by two weeks.

The Health Ministry said while it shared the concern of CBSE, a wing of the HRD Ministry, to have a CET for maximsing the choice afforded to candidates and minimise the stress, expenses and inconvenience to the candiates, yet the issue has to be deliberated before a final decision could be taken on the plea.

"Even if it is considered desirable to maximise the choice for candidates, the proposed amalgamation would present certain practical and logistical difficulties in the counselling process.

"Candidates eligible to appear for both Medical and Engineering Examination may eventually secure a place on both merit lists, thus posing a problem in allotment and counselling of the seats," the affidavit said.

According to the Health Ministry, the benefits of convenience should not lead to any compromise on the substantive merits of either examination.

"Moreover, the answering respondent has also reservations on an amalgamated examination because even if some of the subjects are common, it is possible that the types of questions in each examination are geared towards testing different skills and it may therefore be desirable to retain flexibility while designing the entrance examinations for each of the two streams--Medical and Engineering.

The Central Board of Secondary Education had moved an application for holding CET from coming academic year.

During the last hearing, the Bench had queried "are there practical difficulties or is it a departmental fight between the two ministries?"

It had then asked the Health Ministry to file an affidavit within three weeks elaborating the grounds for opposing the CBSE's plea for holding the CET.

CBSE had filed the application in the pending petition in which the Medical Council of India (MCI) has sought to start single eligibility-cum-entrance examination for MBBS and post-graduate medical courses in the country.

The apex court had on October 22 also sought responses within four weeks from the Centre and all states and union territories on CBSE's plea.


First Published: Friday, November 12, 2010, 22:20

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