All-India CET for medical courses put on hold

Plan faces stiff opposition from Tamil political parties

All-India CET for medical courses put on hold

The DMK—a key ally of the UPA government at the Centre—and the opposition AIADMK have been against the MCI move, announced by the new governing board just days ago. The PMK, the party of former Union Health Minister Dr Anbumani Ramadoss, has also rejected the proposal.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi on Monday wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressing his reservations on the proposal. The octogenarian politician said a common entrance test would adversely impact the prospects of rural students.

However, reacting to the Karunanidhi’s letter on Tuesday, chairman of the MCI board of governors S K Sarin had said it was not entirely unexpected. But he hoped that the central notification would be issued in two days, since the CET and the all-India merit list will be in the best interest of everyone.

TN, in the meantime, had moved the Supreme Court on Thursday, seeking its permission to argue in a pending matter on which the Centre submitted that the MCI would come out with a notification for the CET for admission to medical courses.

On the same day, the DMK and AIADMK raised the matter in Parliament with the members demanding that the common entrance examinations for medical and engineering admissions be scrapped, alleging infringement on the rights of the states.

Following the Tamil protests at various fora, Sarin and his colleagues at the MCI were told by the Union Health Ministry that the proposal had been put on hold until further consultations with the state governments, sources said.

Karunanidhi wrote to Singh requesting him to reconsider the CET as it would amount to an “infringement by the Union government on the autonomy of States.”  He also said since Tamil Nadu had to implement 69 per cent reservation for socially disadvantaged sections, it would be difficult to implement the reservation with a CET.

“Tamil Nadu scrapped the entrance examination for engineering and medical admissions in 2007-08 through legislation with the Presidential assent. This had been done to safeguard the interests of the socially and economically disadvantaged students from the rural areas. The move benefited many such students and also resulted in more doctors agreeing to work in rural areas,” he said in the letter.

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