SC says CET can stay if Centre favours it

SC says CET can stay if Centre favours it

The Supreme Court on Friday made it clear that no private colleges or their associations can hold their entrance examinations to undergraduate medical or dental courses.

The court, however, indicated the states may be allowed to conduct their own common entrance tests in 2016-17, provided the Centre also favours it.

In its order, a 3-judge bench presided over by Justice Anil R Dave stated, “It is clarified that no examination shall be permitted to be held for admission to MBBS or BDS studies by any private college or associationor any private/deemed university.”

The bench, also comprising Justices Shiva Kirti Singh and Adarsh K Goel, added, “Those students who had appeared at NEET Phase-I (May 1) shall not be permitted to appear at NEET Phase-II (July 24) but students who could not appear for NEET Phase-I may appear at NEET Phase-II.”

The court allowed the Centre time till May 9 to discuss with states about conducting their own examinations as Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar submitted that a meeting with state ministers has been scheduled this weekend to thrash out issues after the approval of the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET).

“We want NEET. On the legal side, we supported it. But I have to take instructions if states can be allowed to hold their tests this year or not. We want to resolve the issue after discussing with them,” he said.

In the brief order, the court said, “The issue with regard to those students, who had appeared or who are due to appear in examinations conducted by the states in accordance with their state laws, shall be decided after hearing the Solicitor General on May 9.”

The order came as a window of hope for states opposing NEET. The states contended that their students were not prepared to take the test as some of them studied in the vernacular medium.

States like Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir claimed their examinations were backed by statutes. Tamil Nadu contended it made admissions to medical colleges only the basis of 10+2 marks.

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