Medical entrance test: Private colleges can’t hold separate tests, says SC

The court asks Centre on feasibility of allowing some states, which have already conducted separate tests, to continue with the admission process for the current academic session


The court asked solicitor general to apprise it as to whether all the students, who appeared in AIPMT which later became NEET on 1 May, can be allowed to re-appear on NEET-II to be held on 24 July. Photo: Mint
The court asked solicitor general to apprise it as to whether all the students, who appeared in AIPMT which later became NEET on 1 May, can be allowed to re-appear on NEET-II to be held on 24 July. Photo: Mint

New Delhi: Unaided private medical colleges across the country cannot be permitted to go ahead with their pre-scheduled tests for admissions to MBBS and BDS courses in addition to the recently revived single-window entrance NEET, the Supreme Court on Thursday said.

“There is no question of allowing any exam by private institutions,” a three-judge bench headed by Justice A. R. Dave said when some lawyers sought clarification on the fate of the entrance tests which have either been conducted or about to be held by the private colleges.

In another key development, the bench, also comprising Justices Shiva Kirti Singh and Adarsh Kumar Goel, asked solicitor general Ranjit Kumar to take instruction from the Centre on feasibility of allowing some states, which have already conducted their separate entrance tests, to continue with the admission process for the current academic session.

It also asked Kumar to apprise it as to whether all the students, who appeared in All India Pre-Medical/Pre-Dental Test (AIPMT) which later became National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET) on 1 May, can be allowed to re-appear on NEET-II to be held on 24 July.

The bench said the students, who focused on state tests believing that they had better chances of being selected and did not seriously prepare for AIPMT despite filling up the forms, should be allowed to re-appear in NEET-II.

“I cannot say it is impossible, but it would be very difficult,” additional solicitor general Pinky Anand, appearing for Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), said and referred to the fact that over 6 lakh students appeared in NEET-I.

Senior advocate Vikas Singh, who represents Medical Council of India (MCI), suggested that the students cannot avail two opportunities in one examination and those, who take up tests twice, will have to forgo the ranking obtained in one of the two tests results.

The court sought views of the Centre and the CBSE when the counsel for various states including Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Assam and Jammu and Kashmir made fervent appeals against the NEET.

States like Gujarat and Maharashtra said the students who prepare for the state entrance tests in vernacular languages like Gujarati and Marathi would be at “disadvantage” if they are suddenly asked to take up the NEET in view of the fact that the state tests are now invalid.