The Supreme Court on Monday ruled that the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) would be the only test for admission to medical courses in India, turning down an appeal by many states to hold separate medical entrance exams.
“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,” the court said on Monday. “Only NEET would enable students to get admission to MBBS or BDS studies.”
The top court also allowed candidates who appeared in the first phase of NEET on 1 May to reappear in the second phase slated for 24 July. Over 600,000 aspirants appeared for NEET I.
On 28 April, the court had ordered NEET to be held in two phases—on 1 May for those who have applied for the All India Pre-Medical/Pre-Dental Entrance Test and on 24 July for fresh candidates.
Following this, several students expressed apprehension that since they did not prepare well for one national test, they may miss out on their chance to make it to a medical college.
The court on Monday clarified that the option of appearing for NEET II, scheduled on 24 July, will be available to those who forfeit their score of NEET I. Such a move is meant to allay fears of students who appeared for NEET I, but were not sure about their performance.
A three-judge bench comprising justices Anil R. Dave, Shiva Kirti Singh and Adarsh K. Goel also allowed the government to alter the date for NEET II, if required.
The second phase of the entrance test will be supervised by a three-member oversight committee comprising former chief justice of India R.M. Lodha, Dr Shiv Sarin of government-run Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences in New Delhi, and former comptroller and auditor general of India Vinod Rai.