Vacant pvt medical college seats can be filled as per NEET merit list: Supreme Court

The Supreme Court today agreed to suggestions that the vacant post-graduate seats in private unaided medical colleges could be filled up as per the order of merit in the All-India National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) list.

A bench of Justices A M Khanwilkar and Indu Malhotra said this while hearing a matter of Uttar Pradesh during which the Medical Council of India (MCI) said that almost 41.95 per cent of post-graduate medical seats for academic year 2018-2019 in private unaided medical colleges in the state have remained vacant.

Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Pinky Anand, who appeared for the Centre, suggested to the bench that “a similar dispensation can be followed in other states, if they so desire, while ensuring that the cut-off date of May 31, 2018 is strictly adhered to”.

“We agree with this suggestion,” the bench said and disposed of the plea filed by the UP unaided medical colleges welfare association.

The ASG and MCI’s counsel assured the apex court that its order would be forthwith published on the official websites of MCI, Medical Counselling Committee and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

Earlier during the hearing, the MCI counsel told the bench that since the cut-off date of May 18 was already over, the Director General of Medical Education of Uttar Pradesh must take the responsibility of allotting the seats to students from the NEET merit list in respective colleges by May 31.

“We find this suggestion to be most appropriate and also assuage the grievance of the private medical colleges and open up new opportunity to the aspiring candidates in the merit list who otherwise could not secure admission in other medical colleges,” the bench noted in its order.

The top court accepted the MCI’s suggestions and asked the Director General of Medical Education of Uttar Pradesh to take immediate steps in this regard while ensuring that the cut-off date of May 31, 2018 was adhered to in its letter and spirit.

The bench also made it clear “that in the guise of recommending names of candidates to private colleges, the candidate who has already secured admission elsewhere cannot be permitted to resign from the concerned college to avail of the opportunity under the stated dispensation.

Plea in High Court seeks to re-allot exam centres for NEET candidates in TN

A petition was filed in the Madras High Court today seeking a direction to the CBSE for re-allotment of NEET examination centres for candidates from Tamil Nadu who were assigned centres outside the state.

First Bench comprising Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice Abdul Quddhose posted it for hearing tomorrow before a bench headed by Justice Huluvadi G Ramesh after a mention was made for taking up the matter urgently.

Petitioner S Kalimuthu Mylavan, an advocate, submitted that candidates who applied from Tamil Nadu were allotted NEET examination centres in other states and not according to their choice within the state as mentioned in their applications.

The National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) is scheduled to be held across the country on May 6.

Stating that at the time of applying, candidates are required to prefer three examination centres of their choice, the petitioner submitted most of them had chosen three centre situated nearby in their respective states.

The petitioner further said candidates from southern districts of the state had been allotted centres in neighbouring Kerala.

He contended that most of the candidates who had applied were from rural areas and from poor families and may not be able to afford to spend for their stay in other states.

He prayed the court to quash the April 18 public notice issued by Central Board of Secondary Education, which conducts NEET, and for subsequent direction to re-allot examination centres for candidates from Tamil Nadu to those nearest to their residences within Tamil Nadu.

Madras HC pulls up striking govt teachers; says students affected

Madras HC pulls up striking govt teachers; says students affected
Madras HC pulls up striking govt teachers; says students affected

The Madras High Court today pulled up a section of Tamil Nadu government teachers who are on strike, saying it affected students.

The court then directed the state government to file a report by September 14 on the steps taken to end the protests.

Justice N Kirubakaran made the observations on a petition by advocate A P Suryaprakasam, seeking a direction to the state government to form an expert committee to prepare students who scored low marks in NEET (National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test) and provide them moral support.

In his order, the judge said, “Only five government school students from the state have managed to secure medical seats and protesting teachers should should feel ashamed of this fact.”

“They should know the responsibility of their duty…

such persons cannot involve in strikes,” he said.

The petitioner submitted that the student community is not only in a state of shock, but also felt let down by the state and central governments.

He said it would therefore be appropriate and the need of the hour that those state syllabus students who had lost the opportunity of joining medical colleges along with future aspiring students, be counselled by their class teachers or any other school authorities to prevent tragedies such as Dalit student Anitha’s suicide.

Anitha, daughter of a daily wage earner, allegedly hanged herself at her house in Ariyalur district on September 1 after she learned that the state was not exempted from the ambit of NEET.

The petitioner alleged that in several government schools, teachers are absenting themselves and not taking classes.

He cited the example of the Panchayat Union Middle School at Siruveliyanallur in Cheyyar, where the headmaster was absent continuously and not taking classes for more than three months, compelleing the villagers to lock the school.

When the matter of the strike came up, special government pleader T N Rajagopalan informed the court that the headmaster has been suspended and a charge memo issued to him on August 24.

The court asked the government why biometric system should not be introduced in state-run schools to prevent unauthorised absenteeism and whether it was viable to install CCTV cameras in schools to verify attendance of teachers.

Observing that equally committed, devoted and sincere teachers are also working in government schools and their contribution need to be highly appreciated, the court said it was only concerned with the erring teachers.

Noting that a section of teachers have been boycotting classes from this month, thereby spoiling the education of poor students, the court sought information from the authorities concerned on the number of teachers unions striking without attending classes, among others.

It asked if retired teachers were also functioning as office bearers of the teachers unions, whether private school teachers are participating in the strike or only a section of government and aided school teachers alone were doing so.

The court also sought to know how many schools were affected due to the strike and what steps the government had taken to prevent the teachers from boycotting the work.

The judge then posted the matter to September 14.

The Joint Action Council of Teachers Organisations and Government Employees Organisations (JACTO-GEO) had given a call for the strike from September 7 to press for their demands, including restoration of the old pension scheme.

( Source – PTI )

Ensure no agitation takes place over NEET: SC to TN govt

Ensure no agitation takes place over NEET: SC to TN govt
Ensure no agitation takes place over NEET: SC to TN govt

The Supreme Court today directed the Tamil Nadu government to ensure that no agitation takes place in the state over the NEET examination issue.

The apex court directed that anybody involved in any kind of activity that stalls normal life of citizens in the state should be booked under the appropriate law.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra passed the direction observing that the NEET examination had already been upheld by the apex court.

“As an interim measure, it is directed that it shall be the obligation of the chief secretary and principal secretary of Tamil Nadu to ensure that no agitation takes place in relation to the NEET examination that has been upheld by this court,” the bench, also comprising A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, said.

The top court issued notice to Tamil Nadu government on a plea seeking a direction to the state to maintain law and order situation and ensure that no agitation, strike or protest by political parties or individuals be allowed against the NEET examination.

The petitioner had also submitted that normal life of citizens was gravely affected due to the ongoing protests on the issue in the state.

The bench will now hear the matter on September 18.

( Source – PTI )

MBBS: HC asks Centre to include student in waiting list as NRI

 The Delhi High Court has asked the Centre to include a student, seeking admission to MBBS course through NEET as an NRI candidate though he appeared for the entrance exam as a resident candidate, in the waiting list for deemed universities.

Justice Vibhu Bakhru said that this would enable the student to approach the deemed universities directly and his counsel said this was acceptable to him.

The high court passed the direction after central government standing counsel Jasmeet Singh informed that all unfilled seats have been released to the deemed universities.

The only assistance that can be granted to the student is that his name can be included in the waiting list as an NRI candidate for onward transmission to deemed universities.

The court was hearing the student’s petition, filed through advocate Pradeep Kumar Arya, seeking direction to the Centre to consider and admit him as an NRI candidate for the admission in MBBS in pursuance to National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) conducted for year 2017-18 in the central list for deemed universities.

The student, who completed his class 12th last year from Saudi Arabia, said his father was a resident of Madhya Pradesh and his mother is a non-resident Indian as she had spent more than 180 days in the last financial year in Saudi Arabia.

He had applied under the NEET as a resident candidate and not as an NRI and could not be considered in the NRI category.

However, the Centre had issued a notification on July 21, informing all NRI candidates who had registered under UR/ Indian category at the time of registration for undergraduate MBBS/BDS seats and were eligible to be considered under NRI quota, to send their relevant documents supporting their status by July 25, for being considered under the NRI category, the plea said.

The student did not send any of the application or documents following the notification but claimed that he had made the request prior to July 21 and even after July 25, which should have been considered.

“Are we not ashamed of opposing NEET” asks HC judge

Madras High Court today made some critical observations on Tamil Nadu government’s opposition to National Eligibility cum Entrance Test.

“Are we not ashamed of opposing the NEET. Do you underestimate the ability of our students and the standard of education in Tamil Nadu?

“Do you feel that our students will not do better than students of other states? When all other states have not objected what is the reason for (TN) opposing it?” Justice N Kirubakaran asked.

The observations were made during the hearing of a batch of petitions seeking allotment of 50 per cent of the PG seats in private colleges to government quota.

He posed the questions when counsel for state health department brought to the notice of the court that on NEET, the Tamil Nadu Assembly had passed a bill to exempt the state and it was pending assent from the President.

Later, passing interim orders, the Judge directed the Medical Council of India to file an affidavit on the number of seats approved in post-graduate degree and diploma courses in the colleges in Tamil Nadu and how they were filled in the last academic year.

He also sought to know the steps taken by MCI to see that the seats were filled up as per merits and regulations and quota fixed by the MCI. The affidavit should also state the procedure to be followed for 2017-18 by the colleges.

The petitioners sought a direction to the Tamil Nadu Health Secretary to appropriate 50 per cent of seats in recognised PG and diploma courses in respect of each speciality from all private medical colleges.

During the hearing, the Judge also pulled up MCI for its ‘inaction’ as he posed a series of questions.

Being the approving authority, what was the role being played by MCI in controlling the institutions which are running like ‘business firms’? he asked.

The judge asked what MCI was doing when the institutions did not follow the guidelines.

“When the institutions collect huge amounts is it not your duty to monitor the institutions being an authority of giving approval to the institutions,” he said.

Expressing anguish over the cost incurred in medical education where a student had to pay near about Rs 1.5 crore for specially offered courses, the Judge asked “How we can expect these people to serve to the public at large.”

Referring to a submission that the government was spending Rs 20 lakh on each medical student, he said the government ought to have made them to work for the public (in government hospitals) at least ten years.

The Judge directed the MCI to state as to how much had been spent for a medical student in graduate and PG courses separately as per the budgetary allocation in this regard.

MCI was also directed to state whether it had computerised data base in connection with the faculties in each institution.

Impleading the Union Ministry of Health and family affairs as the respondent, the Judge adjourned the matter to April 3 for further hearing.

Source: PTI

SC approves holding of MBBS, BDS entrance through NEET

SC approves holding of MBBS, BDS entrance through NEET
SC approves holding of MBBS, BDS entrance through NEET

The Supreme Court today cleared the decks for holding of National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET), a single common entrance test for admission to MBBS and BDS courses, in two phases for the academic year 2016-17 in which around 6.5 lakh candidates are likely to appear.

The apex court approved the schedule put before it by the Centre, CBSE and the Medical Medical Council of India (MCI) for treating All India Pre-Medical Test (AIPMT) fixed for May 1 as NEET-1 and those who have not applied for AIPMT will be given 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 order would imply that all government colleges, deemed universities and private medical colleges would be covered under the NEET and those examinations which have already taken place or slated to be conducted separately stands scrapped.

The order, ending all uncertainity, was pronounced after rejecting the 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 which had contended that NEET cannot be imposed on them.

The apex court order also revives the Government’s Decemeber 21, 2010 notification for holding 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 in it.

The court was of the view that since it has recalled its April 11 order, there was no hindrance in holding the single entrance test.

“In view of the submissions made on behalf of the respondents (Centre, CBSE, MCI), we record that NEET shall be held as stated by the respondents. We further clarify that notwithstanding any order passed by any Court earlier with regard to not holding NEET, this order shall operate. Therefore, no further order is required to be passed at this stage,” a bench comprising Justices A R Dave, Shiva Kirti Singh and A K Goel said.

While rejecting the contention that it would not be proper to hold NEET in view of the July 18, 2013 judgement which had scrapped the NEET, the bench said, “We do not agree with the first submission for the reason that the said judgement has already been recalled on April 11, 2016 and therefore, the notifications dated December 21, 2010 are in operation as on today.”

“It may however be clarified that by this order hearing of the petitions which are pending before this Court will not be affected,” the bench said.

( Source – PTI )

SC reserves order on plea to hold entrance via NEET

SC reserves order on plea to hold entrance via NEET
SC reserves order on plea to hold entrance via NEET

The Supreme Court today reserved its order on a plea seeking directions to Centre for holding single common entrance test for MBBS, BDS and PG courses through National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET).

The Centre and Medical Council of India (MCI) came out with a schedule that All India PMT exam for May would be treated as NEET-1 and the second phase would be treated NEET-2 which will be held on July 24 and combined result would be declared on August 17.

However, the decision to hold the entrance exam through NEET was opposed by states including Tamil Nadu and Association of Karnataka Medical Colleges besides minority institutions like CMC Vellore saying it is illegal and unconstitutional.

Tamil Nadu strongly objected to NEET and said there is no culture of entrance exams in the state since 2007.

A bench of Justices A R Dave, Shiva Kirti Singh and A K Goel observed that it was running “against the time” and reserved the order.

The petition filed by NGO Sankalp Charitable Trust was listed for hearing today after it was mentioned late yesterday.

On April 11, the apex court had recalled its controversial judgement scrapping single common entrance test for admission to MBBS, BDS and PG courses in all medical colleges, delivered by then Chief Justice of India Altamas Kabir on the day of his retirement.

In its petition, the NGO said that the Centre, MCI and CBSE were dilly-dallying in implementing the court’s order on implementing the National Eligibility Entrance Test.

It further said that in view of April 11 judgement decks were cleared for holding of Common Entrance Examination and there is no impediment in having the test for admission to Medical Colleges for current academic year 2016-17.

The petitioner claimed that according to a research conducted by the NGO it was found that as many as 90 entrance examinations are being held by private and government authorities separately which resulted in shelling out lakhs of rupees in taking the examination.

“It has also been widely noticed that the examinations are not conducted in a free and fair manner and admissions are granted to chosen few,” the plea said.

 

( Source – PTI )

Review sought of SC bar on single medical entrance test

An NGO Monday moved the Supreme Court seeking the review of its verdict quashing a Medical Council of India (MCI) notification mandating a common entrance test for undergraduate and postgraduate medical and dental courses in government and private institutions.

The petition was filed by NGO Sankalp saying the court’s earlier “judgment erred in not appreciating that NEET (National Entrance Eligibility Test) was required to streamline the admission process in various medical colleges”.

The majority judgment by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir (since retired) and Justice Vikramajit Sen said: “…the MCI is not empowered…to actually conduct the NEET” and introducing NEET was beyond its domain.

Justice Kabir said: “In a single window competition, the disparity in educational standards in different parts of the country cannot ensure a level playing field.”

On the other hand, Justice Anil R. Dave in his dissenting minority judgment held “it cannot be said that introduction of the NEET would either violate any of the fundamental or legal rights of the petitioners (medical colleges) or even adversely affect the medical profession”.

The NGO said that the “right to carry own profession by running a business of medical institution cannot grant unfettered right of admitting undeserving students”.

It was for the apex body of the professionals like the MCI to decide as to what type of students should undergo the professional training, the NGO said.

Contending that the proposed NEET in no way would have affected the rights of private medical institutions, the review petition said: “The function with regard to regulating educational activity would be within the domain of the professional bodies and their decision must be respected…”

(Source: IANS)

SC sets aside notification for common medical test

The Supreme Court Thursday set aside a Medical Council of India (MCI) notification mandating a common National Entrance Eligibility Test (NEET) for both undergraduate and postgraduate medical and dental courses in government and private institutions.

In a majority judgment, Chief Justice Altamas Kabir and Justice Vikramajit Sen said: “We also have no hesitation in holding that the Medical Council of India is not empowered under the 1956 Act to actually conduct the NEET.”

“…we have no hesitation in holding that the ‘Regulations on Graduate Medical Education (Amendment) 2010 (Part II)’ and the ‘Post Graduate Medical Education (Amendment) Regulation, 2010 (Part II)’, whereby the Medical Council of India introduced the single National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test and the corresponding amendments in the Dentists Act, 1948, are ultra vires the provisions of Articles 19(1)(g), 25, 26(a), 29(1) and 30(1) of the Constitution,…”, the majority judgment said.

Addressing the practical aspect of holding a single National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test, Chief Justice Kabir, pronouncing the judgment, said, “In a single window competition, the disparity in educational standards in different parts of the country cannot ensure a level playing field.”

The court said that there was “no controversy that the standard of education all over the country was not the same and each state has its own system and pattern of education, including the medium of instruction”.

“It cannot also be disputed that children in the metropolitan areas enjoy greater privileges than their counterparts in most of the rural areas as far as education is concerned, and the decision of the central government to support a single entrance examination would perpetuate such divide in the name of giving credit to merit,” the judgment said.

“The desire to give due recognition to merit is laudable, but the pragmatic realities on the ground relating to health care, especially in the rural and tribal areas where a large section of the Indian population resides, have also to be kept in mind when policy decisions are taken in matters such as this”, the court said finding holes in the practical dimension of holding NEET.

Addressing the ground realities, the court said, ” While the country certainly needs brilliant doctors and surgeons and specialists and other connected with health care, who are equal to any in other parts of the world, considering ground realities, the country also has need for ‘barefoot doctors’, who are committed and are available to provide medical services and health care facilities in different areas as part of their mission in becoming doctors”.

However, in a dissenting judgment, Justice Anil R. Dave said: “It cannot be said that introduction of the NEET would either violate any of the fundamental or legal rights of the petitioners or even adversely affect the medical profession.”

“In my opinion, introduction of the NEET would ensure more transparency and less hardship to the students eager to join the medical profession,” he ruledd wondering how the autonomy of the said institutions would be adversely affected because of the NEET.

Holding that except for some institutions having some oblique motive behind selecting students who could not prove their mettle at the common examination, Justice Dave said that NEET would give private and minority institutions better students to select from and even give the benefit of the weightage to the religion, caste, etc in the selection of students.

(Source: IANS)