Sore over NEET syllabus, HSC students move HC

A group of Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) students has approached the Bombay High Court challenging the decision of the central government and the Medical Council of India (MCI) to conduct to conduct a single entrance examination for admission to all undergraduate medical colleges.

The students have also challenged the power of the MCI to conduct entrance examinations for such admissions, as also the final core syllabus for the exam.

The decision to conduct the test - the National Eligibility-Cum-Entrance-Test (NEET) - through two amendments to the Medical Council of India Regulations on Graduate Medical Education (MCI-RGME). The amendments replace the entrance tests conducted by Maharashtra (MH-CET) at present and other entrance tests conducted by deemed universities. The amendments stipulate that candidates from across the country will have to appear for the NEET and will have to get a minimum of 50 percentile to be eligible for an MBBS course.

The petitioners claim that the syllabus prescribed for the NEET is "vastly different" from the syllabus of the state board. They also point out that students also have to study for the board examinations and, in some cases, for engineering entrance tests. The students also question the inadequate number of examination centres, pointing out that there are no centres in districts from where a large number of students would appear for the test, such as Kolhapur, Solapur, Sangli and Raigad.

Also, while questioning the power of the MCI to hold an entrance test, the petition contends, "The Indian Medical Council Act under which the impugned regulations are made does not enpower or delegate any power on the IMC to hold a common admission process for regulating admission to medical colleges.

A Division Bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and A A Sayed has asked the central government and the MCI to file affidavits stating their stand and has slated the matter for hearing after two weeks.

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