The Supreme Court of India has given its assent to hold the National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET) 2016-17 in two phases and approved the Medical Council of India’s schedule for the common entrance exams for undergraduate medical and dental courses starting on May 1.
However, strong protests have been raised from states like Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Uttar Pradesh over the issue that it was too late.
One of the major points of contention is that NEET is conducted by CBSE and it will have an impact on students from different educational backgrounds and other state boards.
Before 2012, the CBSE used to conduct the All India Pre-Medical Test (AIPMT), where there were two papers. However in 2012, the Centre introduced the one-country, one-test NEET for medical admissions. Though it was proposed to take place from that year only, but due to opposition from the various states and private colleges, NEET was deferred by a year.
Following the objection, the Supreme Court, in a 2013 judgment, held that NEET would deprive State-run universities and medical colleges of their right to admit students as per their own procedures and declared the test unconstitutional.
Though NEET would be a standardised procedure to admit medical students, but in states like Tamil Nadu, students in MBBS course are admitted on the basis of their 12th board examination results. Kerala has a similar criterion. Here lies the biggest challenge because these states believe that there’s a big difference between the content studied in the State and Central Board’s syllabus. Thus, it would adversely affect the interests of students who are from state board schools.
The Medical Council of India believes that this exam would make the admission to MBBS programme more transparent and free from corruption.
The Supreme Court on Friday ruled that NEET would go as per schedule and clarified that students who appeared on NEET phase I test held on May 1 would not be allowed in phase II of the test to be held on July 24.