The Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad has written to the Prime Minister justifying the need to retain the common entrance test i.e. NEET for admissions into MBBS, BDS and PG courses in all medical colleges, in the midst of a controversy over Supreme Court’s decision to scrap it.
The letter from Azad came after Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh voicing objections against the Centre's decision to file a petition in Supreme Court seeking review of its judgment quashing the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET).
Azad said that students seeking admission in graduate and postgraduate level medical courses and their parents had to suffer from mental, physical and financial hardships under the admission scheme followed till last year. Also, multiple entrance examinations conducted by various agencies have given rise to differential standards for admission to MBBS/PG courses compromising the merit component, he said.
Azad said that his Ministry has been working on creating a more robust environment for admissions to medical and dental courses across the country by introducing a single window entrance test and that it would be in the larger interest of society and of students aspiring to study medicine to have NEET. It has been made clear that no reservation policy followed by minority institutions or state governments would be affected by a NEET based admission process, he stressed.
With the support from the dissenting judgment of Justice A.R. Dave, Health Ministry has decided to file the review petition and has also sought the advice of the Department of Legal Affairs in the matter, the Minister said in his letter. In a majority verdict, the Supreme Court had scrapped NEET on July 18. In a dissenting judgment, Justice Dave had upheld the Medical Council of India's decision to conduct this common entrance exam saying that holding of NEET is "legal, practical and need of the society".
MORE IN THIS SECTION