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The first phase of the single entrance test NEET for admissions to MBBS and BDS courses across the country will be held tomorrow as the Supreme Court today refused to accord an urgent hearing of a plea seeking modification of its earlier order.
A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice T S Thakur, which is conducting a special hearing on Saturday to deal with pollution in Delhi, did not allow the plea seeking urgent hearing for modification of the April 28 order passed by another bench with regard to the National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET).
“Nothing will happen in the meantime. Matter had been heard by the bench and it is over for now. Please allow the examination to be conducted,” the bench, also comprising Justices A K Sikri and R Banumathi said.
The observation came when lawyers, representing some students, said that the order on NEET needed to be modified as students who had prepared for the state-level entrance exams will find it difficult to prepare for the NEET in such a short span of time.
The court, for the time being refused to entertain the plea and asked the lawyers concerned to file an application which would be heard by the regular bench, hearing the case. The Supreme Court had yesterday said that the entrance test for admission to MBBS and BDS courses for the academic year 2016-17 will be held as per the schedule through the two-phased common entrance test NEET on May 1 and July 24.
Centre had yesterday approached the apex court for modification of its April 28 order and had sought that state governments and private colleges be allowed to hold separate entrance examinations for MBBS and BDS courses for 2016-17 saying there was a lot of confusion arising out of it.
The apex court had in its order cleared the decks for the holding of NEET in two phases for the academic year 2016-17 in which around 6.5 lakh candidates are likely to appear. It had approved the schedule put before it by the Centre, CBSE and the Medical Council of India (MCI) for treating All India Pre-Medical Test (AIPMT) fixed for May 1 as NEET-1. It had said those who had not applied for AIPMT will be given the opportunity to appear in NEET-II on July 24 and the combined result would be declared on August 17 so that the admission process can be completed by September 30.
The apex court had pronounced the order after rejecting opposition for holding NEET by states, including Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and Association of Karnataka Medical Colleges, besides minority institutions like CMC, Vellore. The apex court order had implied that all government colleges, deemed universities and private medical colleges would be covered under NEET and those examinations which have already taken place or slated to be conducted separately stand scrapped. It had also revived the government’s December 21, 2010 notification for holding a single common entrance test through NEET with a clarification that any challenge on the issue would directly come before it and no high court can interfere.
The court was of the view that since it recalled its April 11 order, there was no hindrance in holding the NEET. On April 11, the SC had recalled its verdict scrapping a single common entrance test for admission to MBBS and BDS courses in all medical colleges, delivered by then Chief Justice of India Altamas Kabir on the day of his retirement. The apex court’s April 28 order came on a petition filed by NGO Sankalp Charitable Trust, which had said that the Centre, MCI and CBSE were dilly-dallying in implementing the court’s order on implementing the NEET.