NEET 2016: SC commences hearing pleas to hold separate entrance exams

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday commenced the crucial hearing in the pleas of state governments, private medical colleges and minority institutions like CMC Vellore and Ludhiana seeking nod to hold pre-scheduled separate entrance exams for MBBS and BDS courses, which was opposed by the Medical Council of India.

The apex court, which took note of the "peaceful" holding of the first phase of a single common entrance test, through NEET (National Eligibility Entrance Test) on 1 May, said "there was no urgency" in passing the order on the fresh pleas, and it would give the decision after hearing all the stakeholders.

It asked the Centre and CBSE to give wide publicity about holding of the second phase of NEET on 24 July through press notes and Internet so that those who were unable to take the May test can try their luck.

Representational image. AFP.

Representational image. AFP.

Before commencing the hearing, the top court asked the Centre and CBSE to provide it with the data about the number of candidates appearing in the first phase of the NEET from each state.

It also took note of the contention raised by various state governments about the language issue, i.e. use of vernacular languages by asking Gujarat Government to place before it the question papers of last two years.

Just before the hearing, Jammu and Kashmir, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana cited special constitutional provisions to contend that only the state can have the say in holding examination for MBBS and BDS courses.

Jammu and Kashmir government cited constitutional provision of Article 370 read with Article 35 A and section 6 of the J&K constitution to contend that it is the state that is entitled to conduct the test and that the students cannot be admitted to these courses from outside the state through NEET.

Further, on the educational aspect, only the state government has the legislative competence and Centre cannot interfere in it.

While a bench, comprising Justices A R Dave, Shiva Kirti Singh and A K Goel, was formulating modalities of the hearing, senior advocate Vikas Singh, appearing for the MCI, opposed the contention of vernacular language, saying that the MBBS and BDS course across the country is being taught in English.

Updated Date: May 03, 2016 19:25 PM

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