CBSE to conduct NEET for 2016-17 admission; SC asks for exam schedule on April 28

CBSE has agreed to conduct a national level medical entrance test NEET on April 27 even as Supreme Court asked the stakeholders- CBSE, MCI and Government of India, to chart out a schedule for test which was validated after the apex court quashed its earlier order of 2013 when it was scrapped.

Earlier, the Supreme Court of India has cleared the Medical Council of India (MCI) proposal for National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET), the national level medical entrance for medical colleges across the country setting aside its previous order under which common entrance examination for MBBS, BDS and PG courses were proscribed.

The SC bench of Justices A R Dave, Shiva Kirti Singh and A K Goel on April 27 asked the stakeholders – Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), Medical Council of India (MCI) and Government of India (GoI) to present a plan for implementing the test from current academic year itself.

The counsels of CBSE, MCI and Union of India assured the court that “they are ready and willing to hold NEET examination for admission to MBBS and BDS courses for the academic year 2016-17”. They further pledged to submit a schedule for the examination in the court on April 28.

The Court decision has come just 4 days before national level medical entrance test AIPMT is scheduled to be held across India for 15 per cent all India quota seats in government medical colleges.

There are many other medical entrance tests in India which have either been conducted or scheduled to be held in the month of May. Medical tests like KEAM, AMU medical test have already been conducted. Many other entrance tests like AIPMT, AIIMS JIPMER, Maharashtra CET are scheduled in the month of May.

The implementation of NEET may render all other medical entrance tests meaningless and upcoming medical exams are likely to be cancelled once CBSE announces dates for NEET.

NEET was declared illegal and unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 2013. It was restored earlier this month when a five-judge Constitution bench recalled the earlier verdict and allowed the Centre and the Medical Council of India (MCI) to implement the common entrance test till the court decides afresh on its validity.

Since 2013, many state governments are conducting their admission tests separately. Dan NGO Sankalp Charitable Trust had further approached the SC for implementation of NEET for admissions in MBBS, BDS and PG courses in all medical colleges from the current academic year itself.

About 6-7 lakh candidates annually appear for medical entrance tests in India. There are about 80-90 entrance examinations conducted by different examination authorities for admissions to about 52000 MBBS seats in in more than 400 medical and dental colleges of India.

Now, candidates aspiring for medical entrance exams are likely to face a common medical entrance in a phased manner. During hearing in the Supreme Court the Health Ministry suggested to consider AIPMT 2016 as Phase I of NEET.  The Phase II of NEET might be scheduled tentatively in the month of mid-July.

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