Supreme Court clears way for common medical entrance examination across India

The Supreme Court of India has cleared the Medical Council of India (MCI) proposal for a common entrance examination 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 Apex court’s latest judgment has paved way for undergraduate and postgraduate common entrance examination for medical colleges. In 2013, the court had revoked National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET).

The Constitution Bench comprising Justices Anil R. Dave, A.K. Sikri, R.K. Agrawal, Adarsh Kumar Goel and R. Banumathi recalling the July 2013 order directed for fresh hearing of the matter. “Till the matter is decided NEET can be implemented,” the court said.

The previous order exempted the private medical college from admitting students in medical courses through NEET.

However, the same year, the MCI had passed a regulation seeking to introduce National Eligibility Entrance Test for medical seats. This move was opposed by several states governments and the matter went to the Supreme Court, which struck down the same. Still, MCI and the Centre had sought a revision of the order.

Earlier this year, the Union Ministry for Health and Family Welfare approved the MCI recommendation to amend the Indian Medical Council (IMC) Act, 1956 to allow a single common medical entrance test for both undergraduate and postgraduate medical courses in all colleges across the country, including private colleges and deemed universities.

Benefit for students:

As per MCI, more than 90 entrance examinations are conducted annually for admission to MBBS courses for nearly 300 medical colleges in the country for close to 50,000 seats.

Following the SC order for conducting common exam is likely to save students from the hassle of taking several tests conducted across the country. It is also likely to save students to a larger extent from allegedly paying huge capitation fees.

Prof. Dr. C.V. Bhirmanandham, Vice-President MCI commenting on the SC judgment said, “The SC verdict is a very positive move and we have been fighting for it. Merit will get priority now and the reservation policy of the central government would be followed. This would remove undeserving candidates from getting admitted to medical colleges.”

Currently, AIPMT is conducted on all India basis for admission to 15 per cent seats in all government medical and dental colleges across India. Rest of the 85 per cent seats is filled through state level exam in government colleges. Also, private medical institutes conduct their own entrance tests for admission to their MBBS and dental programmes.

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