NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Thursday paved the way for National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET) this year for admission into medical colleges.
The SC directed the Centre and CBSE to go ahead and conduct two-phase single common entrance test for MBBS, BDS and PG courses through the NEET.
The apex court said that the AIPMT, which is to take place on Sunday, would be considered as first phase of the NEET.
The second phase would be conducted on July 24, the SC said.
The SC turned down plea of state governments and private colleges that NEET cannot be imposed on them.
With today’s SC order, all other examinations scheduled for next month stand scrapped.
The final result of two phases of the NEET would be declared by August 17.
“Those students who have not applied for AIPMT will be given opportunity to appear in second phase of the NEET examination on July 24,” the SC said.
The Supreme Court had on Wednesday said that multiple tests must give way to the National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET) for the current (2016-17) session itself.
NEET, which was declared illegal and unconstitutional by SC in 2013, was restored on April 11 after a five-judge Constitution bench recalled the earlier verdict and allowed the Centre and the Medical Council of India (MCI) to implement the common entrance test till the court decides afresh on its validity.
Despite the revival of NEET, the authorities failed to implement it, forcing NGO Sankalp Charitable Trust to approach SC for enforcing the mechanism for a common test for admission in MBBS, BDS and PG courses in all colleges.
Advocate Amit Kumar, appearing for the petitioner NGO Sankalp Charitable Trust, 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), compelling students 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 with his contention and said NEET must be implemented from the coming academic session itself. It directed the Centre, MCI and CBSE to sit together and frame a time-schedule for conducting NEET. It directed them to place before it by Thursday a dateline for the common entrance test. 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.
Lakhs of students appear for various medical entrance examinations in more than 400 colleges and there are more than 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.