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Common test for medical undergraduate course


Article137.png"" alt=""Article137"" />With the Supreme Court on Thursday passing order to hold National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) 2016-17, it is now clear that the All India Pre-Medical Test scheduled for May 1 will now be considered the first round of NEET and the students who were to write this exam would now be writing NEET while for all others who were to write eligibility test for medical undergraduate and dental courses in other institutions can do so on July 24 when the second round of NEET will be conducted. The results for both the examinations will be declared on August 17. Counseling would be held for 45 days between August 17 and September 30. The entire process would be completed by September 30. An approximate number of 6.5 lakh students would attend the exams across the country. The examination for medical and dental undergraduate courses across the country will be conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education.

Bench of Justices Anil R. Dave, S.K. Singh and A.K. Goel revived the NEET across all States despite strong protests from States like Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh that it was too late. The court revived the NEET notifications of December 21, 2010, and said the common entrance exam would be held this academic year notwithstanding any orders to the contrary from any other courts. All challenges to this order would come directly before the Supreme Court and be heard in due course, the order said. The court said the 2013 judgment quashing the NEET is not in operation as of date as the Supreme Court had recalled it on April 11. Hence, it said, there was no bar against conducting the NEET this academic year.

On April 11, the Apex Court had recalled its 2013 order scrapping NEET for admission to MBBS, BDS and PG course paving the way for holding of a common entrance test for medical under and post graduation course in the country which had earlier been opposed by the Tamil Nadu government, minority institutions and private medical college. The United Progress Alliance (UPA) government in 2011 had stalled the move by the Medical Council of India to hold a common entrance for medical courses following a strong protest by the Tamil Nadu government, which was part of the UPA. The Tamil Nadu government has done away with all entrance examinations for professional courses since 2007 to bring about rural-urban parity.

When the matter went to Supreme Court, it also rejected the proposal in 2013 but the matter became controversial as it was a majority verdict which was delivered on the day the then Chief Justice Altamas Kabir was to retire and the order was put up on the Supreme Court website even before it was pronounced. Justive A.R.Dave had dissented with the judgement. On April 11, the Supreme Court while recalling its controversial judgement scrapping single common entrance test for admission to MBBS, BDS and PG courses in all medical colleges had said ""it was delivered by a majority verdict without any discussion among members to the bench headed by the then Chief Justice of India Altamas Kabir on the day of his retirement.

A five-member Constitution Bench headed by Justice A.R.Dave was unanimous that the July 18, 2013, 2:1 verdict of the three-judge bench, ""needs reconsideration"" as ""the majority view has not taken into consideration some binding precedents."" A common entrance test is aimed to standardize medical education in the country. At present, each state has a different standard of education. ""The decision will help safeguard the sanctity of the medical profession and make it more accountable, transparent and effective. Indian Medical Association has also been advocating the implementation of NEET on the grounds that it will bring transparency to the system of medical examinations,"" the IMA had said in a statement soon after the order."

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