In a decision that can impact lakhs of medical aspirants, the Supreme Court on Wednesday told the Centre to implement the National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET) from the academic year 2016-17 itself. The decision comes in the wake of the 11 April verdict in which the bench headed by Justice Dave recalled the 2013 directive scrapping the NEET, and directed the Centre to administer it for admission into all medical colleges across the country.

Supreme Court. AFP

Supreme Court. AFP

The apex court bench headed by Justice Anil R. Dave gave its nod to two-phase holding of the NEET by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), as it declined the submission by certain states and associations of private medical colleges not to thrust NEET on them.

The decision has had a impact on the All India Pre-Medical Test(AIPMT), which is conducted for admission into many MBBS and Dental colleges across India. The court approved the CBSE schedule for holding NEET exams on May 1 and July 24, the declaration of results on August 17 this year, and counselling and admissions later. AIPMT will be considered as the first phase.

The Supreme Court was hearing a petition filed by an NGO called Sankalp Charitable Trust. “A student seeking admission in a medical college has to shell out lakhs of rupees in taking an examination and most of the tests are not conducted in a fair manner. There is no impediment in way of implementing NEET after the Constitution bench verdict and the Centre should be directed to enforce the order in association with MCI and CBSE,” The Times of India quoted advocate Amit Kumar as saying.

From 2013 onwards, private and minority medical institutes had their own entrance exams. This was made possible after a group of institutions, including the Christian Medical College in Vellore, moved the Supreme Court, contending that having a common entrance test violated the rights of minority institutions “to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice, as guaranteed under Article 30 of the Constitution”. The hearing in the case, resulted in the Supreme Court quashing a notification by the MCI for the 2013 NEET.

With the NEET back, the competition for securing the 52,000 plus seats in the MBBS course may get a lot tougher for lakhs of students across the country.

With inputs from Agencies.

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Neat and clean: NEET gets SC nod, exams to be conducted in two phases