Most recently, the Hon’ble Supreme Court allowed the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for admission to the medical colleges in India. The Apex Court recalled its 2013 order which had held the All India common entrance test, the NEET, for admission to MBBS, BDS, and various PG courses as “illegal” and “unconstitutional”.
A five-judge Constitution Bench headed by Justice AR Dave held that the July 18, 2013, 2:1 verdict of the three-judge bench, which had paved the way for private colleges to conduct their own examination, “needs reconsideration” as “the majority view has not taken into consideration some binding precedents”.
Earlier, the Medical Council of India (MCI) and the Union government had challenged the 2013 order. Also several state governments, including Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu opposed the review, saying that NEET infringed upon their right to keep education a State subject. Among those opposed to NEET were also private minority managements like Christian Medical College, Vellore, which admits 85% of students through community and church-sponsored networks.
IMA has also been advocating the implementation of NEET (common entrance test) on the grounds that it will bring transparency to the system of medical examinations. The past IMA President Dr Ketan Desai played a key role in conceptualizing the need for NEET.
In India, an all-India entrance exam is likely to set better standards than those administered by private medical colleges and individual states. The decision will help safeguard the sanctity of the medical profession and make it more accountable, transparent and effective.
One common test at an All India level will bring much-required relief for students, as multiple tests in different colleges at different times and in different states cause much hardship to them. It will not only regulate medical education, but will also bring in standardization and check fraudulent practices.
By conducting their own entrance tests, many private institutions are selecting academically-weaker but financially-sound candidates. With NEET, unscrupulous and money-minded businessmen entering and operating in the field of education will diminish. The order will pave the way for the common entrance examination and make matters easier for thousands of students. Around one lakh students appear for these examinations every year.