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Modi government keen to push for common entrance test across all medical colleges in India

10/5/2015

NEW DELHI: The Narendra Modi government seems keen to push for a common entrance test for medical colleges across the country, yet again, with an earlier effort to implement such a system having failed in 2013. 
 
Moving in those lines the Medical Council of India (MCI), at its general body meeting held on October 1, 2015, have approved a joint proposal placed before it, by the ministry of health and the MCI, to have a unitary "Common Entrance Test" to be held by a designated competent authority for admission to MBBS and post-graduate medical courses, according to sources. 
 
MCI sources said the joint proposal was unanimously adopted by the GBM and that it was for the ministry now to push the issue further. The sources also said MCI is in favour of an amendment to the Medical Council of India Act, 1956, to ensure proper implementation of the new system. Though government sources say, even an "executive order" would be good enough to implement the change. 
 
Asked about the GBM, secretary in-charge MCI, Dr Reena Nayyar said, "The matter was placed before the general body though nothing can be said till the minutes are finalised." 
 
In fact, top ministry sources told TOI that health minister J P Nadda is considering this matter very "seriously" and is taking precautions to ensure that it does not fall through this time as it did in 2013. So far, "all signals are positive" in this direction, said a top government source. 
 
With Vyapam and other such scams to do with entrance tests, having come up in the meanwhile both MCI and the government feel a common entrance test would be the best way to benefit students and get rid of the corruptio0n in the system. 
 
The move to have a common entrance test for medical students across the country was first initiated in 2009, when MCI was headed by Dr Ketan Desai, as its president. 
 
The Supreme Court had, in June 2013, ruled the MCI's notification for holding common entrance tests for MBBS, BDS and post-graduate medical courses as invalid. A three-judge bench by a 2:1 verdict held that the notification was against the Constitution. The majority verdict by the then Chief Justice of India Altamas Kabir and Justice Vikramajit Sen said that MCI is not empowered to prescribe all India medical entrance tests. The bench said the MCI notification was in violation of Articles 19, 25, 26, 29 and 30 of the Constitution. Justice A R Dave had dissented from the view. The court's decision had come on 115 petitions challenging the MCI notification on NEET for admission to MBBS and post-graduate medical courses conducted in colleges across the country.

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