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