Single medical entrance hits multiple block
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The health ministry's ambitious one-country, one-test plan for medical education has been set back by a number of court cases across the country, now bunched together in the Supreme Court.
More than 80 cases opposing the the undergraduate National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) have been filed, two of these by state governments and the rest by private and minority institutes. Private institutes have opposed the test because they want a greater say in the content of the test, while minority institutions are worried whether they can retain their minority character. The fate of the management quota too appears uncertain.
All this has also led to the withholding of the results of the postgraduate NEET, held in November-December and taken by 90,377 candidates. Counselling was supposed to have started in February. Instead, candidates are now scurrying to all corners of the country to appear for more tests.
With all cases since transferred to the Supreme Court, frustrated PG entrance examinees have decided to become a party to these and seek declaration of the results. They are raising money for lawyers' expenses, sat on a dharna at Jantar Mantar this month and have met Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal, urging him to take up their cause.
The undergraduate test is scheduled for May and many states having chosen not to conduct their respective medical entrance examinations. Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh have opposed the common test and are conducting their own undergraduate entrance medical examinations. Most others, such as Kerala, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, have chosen to admit students based on the common test.
Admission for the next session has to be completed by June. Till January 31, which was the last date for registration, 7.27 lakh candidates have registered with the Central Board of Secondary Education.