Single common entrance test to take place as per schedule: Supreme Court

A five-judge bench of the Supreme Court will revisit the legality of NEET on 3 May and hear all states that objected to the common entrance test

Photo: Hindustan Times
Photo: Hindustan Times

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday said that a single common entrance test for admission to all undergraduate medical and dental courses in the country will take place as per schedule.

A bench comprising justices Anil R. Dave, Shiva Kirti Singh and Adarsh Goel refused to entertain pleas by various states and the centre seeking modification of the order passed by the apex court on Thursday.

“We have passed an order... let that continue. All issues raised today will be heard later,” the bench said.

On Thursday, the court had directed that the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) 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.

The order brings all government medical colleges, deemed universities and private medical colleges under NEET and nullifies examinations that have already taken place or are slated to be conducted.

Attorney general Mukul Rohatgi had asked the court earlier in the day to allow state governments to hold their respective entrance tests as planned.

States like Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh sought conduct of the exam in vernacular languages. These objections will be heard by the court on 3 May.

As of now, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is holding the exam in Hindi and English.

On 11 April, the apex court recalled its 2013 judgment that had declared NEET “illegal” and “unconstitutional” on the ground that it interfered with the right of private, minority and linguistic institutions to admit students.

Following the recall of the judgment, Sankalp Charitable Trust, a non-profit moved the top court on 26 April seeking clarity on holding a common national entrance test.

The centre, CBSE and the Medical Council of India (MCI) assured the court that the test can be conducted this year.

A five-judge bench headed by justice Dave will, however, revisit the legality of NEET on 3 May and hear all states that have objected to the common entrance test.