KL NEWS NETWORK
The Supreme Court on Monday upheld its decision to hold entrance examination to medical courses—MBBS, BDS and MD—only through the National Eligibility and Entrance Test (NEET) in different States, including Jammu and Kashmir.
“Prima-facie, we do not find any infirmity in the NEET regulation on the ground that it affects the rights of the States or the private institutions,” an apex bench of SC headed by Justice Anil R Dave said in its order on Monday. “Special provisions for reservation of any category are neither subject matter of the NEET, nor the rights of minority are in any manner affected by the NEET.”
The NEET, the order reads, only provides for conducting entrance test for eligibility for admission to the MBBS/BDS course.
“We thus, do not find any merit in the applications seeking modification of order dated April 28, 2016. Only other contention relates to perceived hardship to the students who have either applied for NEET-I but could not appear or who appeared but could not prepare fully thinking that the preparation was to be only for 15% All India seats and there will be further opportunity to appear in other examinations,” said the order.
To allay any such apprehensions, the apex court has directed that all such eligible candidates who could not appear in NEET-I and those who had appeared but have apprehension that they had not prepared well, be permitted to appear in NEET-II, subject to seeking an option from the said candidates to give up their candidature for NEET-I.
“It would be open to the respondents to reschedule the date of holding NEET-II, if necessary. To this extent the earlier orders stand modified,” said the Court.
Directing for ensuring total credibility of the examination to be held by the CBSE, the Court directed that “Oversight Committee” appointed by it vide judgment dated May 2, 2016 shall also oversee the NEET-II examination.
“It is also clarified that only NEET would enable students to get admission to MBBS or BDS studies and all the applications and writ petitions seeking modification of order passed on 11th April, 2016, stand disposed of,” reads the order.
Different private colleges and some states including J&K had approached the Supreme Court seeking modification of the order dated April 28, 2016.
J&K’s standing counsel in Supreme Court Sunil Fernandes, however, told a Srinagar based newspaper that “all the seats from J&K shall stand reserved for the state subjects”.
“It means that only state subjects can apply for the examinations to different medical courses conducted by the NEET. In other words only examination conducting body would change from BOPEE to NEET,” Fernandes said.
He further said the merit list for J&K would be prepared by the NEET and the counselling would be done by the BOPEE.
The apex court in its order today also noted that the stand of the private medical colleges (including minorities) that conducting of entrance test by the state violated right of autonomy of the said colleges, has been rejected.
“The State law providing for conducting of entrance test was upheld, rejecting the contention that the State had no legislative competence on the subject. At the same time, it was held that the admission involved two aspects. First, the adoption of setting up of minimum standards of education and coordination of such standards which aspect was covered exclusively by Entry 66 of List I. The second aspect is with regard to implementation of said standards which was covered by Entry 25 of List III,” the bench said.
“On the said aspect, the State could also legislate. The two entries overlap to some extent and to that extent Entry 66 of List I prevailed over the subject covered by Entry 25,” the court said while disposing of all the petitions.