Despite the reluctance of the Central and some state governments, the common entrance test NEET will be held in two phases on schedule as per the Supreme Court’s ruling on Friday. Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi had sought a modification of the ruling, requesting that the first phase scheduled for May 1 be scrapped to resolve confusion, and that all students be allowed to take the test on July 24 instead, the date fixed for the second phase. The issue figured in Parliament as well, with some Lok Sabha members demanding that a single phase test be held on July 24 to give students sufficient time to prepare. States like Tamil du and Andhra Pradesh are against a common tiol Entrance-cum-Eligibility Test (NEET), arguing that it is in accordance with CBSE and ICSE syllabi which puts students from state boards at a disadvantage, that vercular medium students will have difficulty in taking the test in English or Hindi, and that it will go against students from rural areas who don’t have access to coaching centres. Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi too has sought a review of the Supreme Court ruling, voicing concern that a single medical entrance test may prove counter-productive for students from Assam. The Supreme Court has now said it will go into the issue of modification after parties file their applications. Its order also implies that all government and private medical colleges as well as institutes like AIIMS, JIPMER and CMC Vellore would be covered under NEET; so those examitions which have already been held or slated to be held separately stand scrapped. This development was expected after the SC constitutiol bench on April 11 last recalled its own judgment in 2013 scrapping a single common medical entrance test. This time around, the apex court wants a single NEET to reduce strain on students, end malpractices like capitation fees and institutiolize a uniform merit-based criteria. But concerns about ensuring a level playing field for all students will need to be addressed.
Medical entrance worries