Govt must resist pressure from 'medical mafia', say doctors

Centre likely to come out with ordinance to bypass SC

Govt must resist pressure from 'medical mafia', say doctors

A group of senior doctors has appealed to the central government not to give in to the pressure of the “medical mafia” with regards to common entrance test for under-graduate medical courses.

“Private medical education has become a big business. By deferring NEET for one year will give sufficient time to the medical mafia to manipulate,” the doctors said in a statement.

Earlier this month, the Supreme Court ruled only a single common examination – the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) – would enable students for admission to MBBS and BDS courses in medical colleges across the country in the current academic year.

The government is now understood to be thinking about steps like approaching the Supreme Court once again or coming out with an ordinance to bypass the SC order for 2016-17.

Several lawmakers also raised the issue in the Lok Sabha asking the government to come out with an ordinance. They argued that NEET would not be beneficial to the students as they received too little time to prepare for the national level examination.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu informed the House that the government would convey the members’ views on children requiring more time to the apex court.

“There are nearly 80 members of Parliament who have direct interest in private medical education. Instead of naming these members, the minister is succumbing to their pressure tactics.

“It will be sad day for deserving and hard working students if any change is made,” said the doctors who formed National Coalition for Reforms and Restructuring of Medical Council of India.

“This is a pressure tactic by the private medical colleges and other interested parties who want the capitation fee to continue,” they said.

Huge money

“The opposition is mainly because of the involvement of Rs 12,000 crore, which is in circulation for pre-admission procedures. If the government comes out with an ordinance, we will seek an appointment with the President and request him not to sign the ordinance,” coalition president G S Grewal from Punjab Medical Council told DH.

India has 421 medical colleges, majority of them are in the private sector. Aspiring students not only have to sit in a number of entrance tests, but also have to pay hefty capitation fee to get admission in these colleges. The Supreme Court made it clear that it preferred a single entrance examination from which the states can draw their own merit lists.

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