After the AIPMT cheating episode shook the nation last year, the medical entrance exam is in the news this year again albeit for some different reasons.
The Supreme Court has ordered the government of India that multiple medical entrance tests must give way to the National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET) from the 2016-17 session onwards.
Advocate Amit Kumar, told a SC bench of Justices A R Dave, Shiva Kirti Singh and A K Goel that the Centre, MCI and CBSE were dilly-dallying in implementing the court's order on implementing the National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET), and compelling all the medical aspirants to appear in as many as 90 entrance exams across the country for admission.
"A student seeking admission in a medical college has to shell out lakhs of rupees in taking an examination and most of the tests are not conducted in a fair manner. There is no impediment in way of implementing NEET after the Constitution bench verdict and the Centre should be directed to enforce the order in association with MCI and CBSE," Kumar told the bench.
The bench agreed and said NEET must be implemented from the coming academic session itself. They have suggested MCI and CBSE to sit together and frame a time-schedule for conducting NEET.
The counsel appearing for the government, MCI and CBSE told the bench that there were "willing and committed" to hold NEET for 2016-17 and agreed to place the proposed time-schedule on Thursday.
The bench had said that the controversial judgment of July 2013 by which NEET was quashed needed reconsideration as the "majority verdict" delivered by then CJI Altamas Kabir did not take into "consideration some binding precedents and more particularly, we find that there was no discussion among the members of the bench before pronouncement of the judgment".
Lakhs of students have appeared for various medical entrance examinations in more than 400 colleges and there are only close to 52,000 seats available for MBBS courses.
After the scrapping of NEET, states and private colleges have been conducting exams separately for the last three years. This has resulted in a major hike in expenses on the pockets of the medical aspirants throughout the country.