New Delhi, May 5
The Supreme Court today said it was open to considering various options for medical admissions this academic year (2016-17), but ruled out the possibility of allowing private educational institutions to conduct their own tests.
A Bench headed by Justice Anil R Dave asked the Centre to give its views by tomorrow on the feasibility of giving another chance to the candidates who had appeared for the first phase of the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) conducted on May 1. This could be done by letting them take the second phase of NEET scheduled for July 24.
The Bench was also willing to consider the plea for permitting the state governments to conduct the state-level entrance tests for admissions to MBBS and BDS courses.
On April 29, the Bench had refused to modify its previous day’s order for medical admissions only through NEET. Today, the court said it was revisiting the issue in view of the practical difficulties that had cropped up in the admission process this year due to paucity of time and the fact that several states had already conducted their own tests or were in the process of doing so.
The Bench was also informed that more than 50,000 students who had applied for phase one of NEET did not appear for the test as some of the state-level examinations were also conducted the same day – May 1.
The Centre has also pleaded that the students opting for the July 24 test would have an advantage as they had more time to prepare for NEET.
Today, the government told the court that it would be difficult to give another chance to phase one students, placed at about 600,000, as this would increase the number of candidates for the July 24 exam to 30 lakh which would be unmanageable.
Appearing for Jammu and Kashmir, senior advocate Gopal Subramanian today pleaded for exempting the state from NEET as it enjoyed special status under Articles 370 and 35A of the Constitution.
The Bench is hearing objections to NEET by several states and private institutions, including deemed universities and minority bodies. The arguments will continue tomorrow.
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