'Neet won't affect seats for institutional preference'

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The Supreme Court has declared that introduction of all India National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) would not affect 50 % seats earmarked as institutional preference for admission to post graduate medical courses in the country.

A bench of Justices Arun Mishra, M R Shah and B R Gavai held that providing 50% institutional preference or reservation by the state shall not be in any way ultra vires to Section 10D of the Medical Council of India (MCI) Act, which stated that there would a uniform entrance examination to all medical colleges at the undergraduate and the PG level.

“Even in the case of institutional preference/reservation, the admissions in the PG courses are on the basis of the merits and marks obtained in the NEET result only,” the bench said.

The court dismissed a batch of petitions filed by Yatinkumar Jesubhai Patel and others, challenging the validity of rules framed by the Gujarat University, giving preference to the graduate from the varsity.

The bench concluded, “NEET scheme has nothing to do with the “institutional preference”.

Therefore, this shall not affect the institutional preference or reservation as approved by this court from time to time in catena of decisions namely, Dr Pradeep Jain, Saurabh Chaudri and Saurabh Dwivedi.

The petitioners said, the rules for institutional preference would be violative of the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956, and the Post Graduate Medical Education Regulations, 2000, framed under the Indian Medical Council Act.

The MCI counsel said that holding of common examination cannot lead to invalidity of institutional preference.

As per the National Board of Examination, 50% are All India Quota seats and the remaining are to be filled either by the state government or colleges or universities at the institute level using NEET-PG score.

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