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Now, SC hints at allowing state, pvt med exams


NEW DELHI: A day after directing implementation of National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET) as a single examination for admission to medical courses and scrapping tests conducted by states and private medical colleges, the Supreme Court on Friday hinted that these tests could be held pending a final decision on their validity.
The order has triggered confusion among medical aspirants on whether these tests would finally be held as valid or all admissions done through NEET.
The court had on Thursday directed the Centre, CBSE and Medical Council of India to conduct NEET in two phases -including AIPMT as Phase I -but on Friday , the government pleaded the case for states and private colleges to hold separate exams, saying students preparing for tests in regional languages would be disadvantaged. Attorney general Mu kul Rohatgi appeared before a bench headed by Justice AR Dave seeking modification of the April 28 order and was supported by various state governments and private colleges.
Justice Dave said the special bench would have to sit to hear the case, which was not possible before May 3.
"Several problems have cropped up after Thursday's order. Majority of states have done all preparation for conducting the exams which are scheduled to be held almost on a daily basis. Those exams are to be conducted in vernacular languages and students of those states would not be comfortable to compete through NEET which will be held in Hindi or English. Students are running against time," he said.
Rohatgi opposed the idea of NEET in two phases and said only one exam should be conducted on July 24, reflecting concerns that students appearing in the first phase scheduled for Sunday will be at a disadvantage.
SC's order reviving NEET came at a time when a few tests have already been conducted. NEET, declared illegal and unconstitutional in 2013, was restored on April 11 after a five-judge Constitution bench recalled the earlier verdict and allowed to implement the test.
The SC was right in reversing its earlier order so as to allow for a single entrance test to be held for medical college admissions.However, it is perhaps best to institute that system from next year rather than insisting on its immediate implementation. There is already too much uncertainty surrounding the current year's process and candidates should be spared any further anxiety on this count.
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