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NEET to be held in 2017? Centre to approach SC to defer medical entrance test by a year

Ipsita Sarkar | Updated on: 10 February 2017, 1:49 IST

The Centre plans to approach the Supreme Court to defer the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) medical entrance test by one year.

M Venkaiah Naidu, Parliamentary Affairs Minister, made the announcement in Lok Sabha on Wednesday, 11 May.

"We are for a common entrance examination, but not from this year. Give time, let the students prepare adequately and then go for the examination. This is the stand of the central governement. We'll try to convince the Supreme Court," Naidu said during zero hour.

Also Read: It's official! NEET is the only way to get into medical, dental colleges: SC

Responding to oppositions' questions, Naidu agreed that the aspirants need time to prepare for the test, since many medical aspirants study in their mother tongues.

"You cannot expect children to switch over to a new system, without preparing for the same," Naidu said.

"There should be a common entrance examination. Private and state universities are conducting their own exam. There are also several accusation of 'garbar' in these exam. So the government, in principal, is in favour of the common examination. But at the same time, this is not the decision of the government. This is the direction of the court," Naidu said.

"Children in CBSE are studying in English medium. Children in ISC and other courses are studying in regional languages. According to my knowledge, only 18 per cent of students are studying in English medium. Others are studying in their mother language. So this has to be appreciated by the court. I will definitely convey this to the HRD minister, Health minister and ministries to oversee it," he added.

Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said, "Defer the exam this year. By next year, all students will know that we have to take the Common entrance test."

Trinamool Congress MP Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar pointed out that West Bengal students have been preparing for medical tests for years. "They have been suddenly told that a central exam would be there. The syllabus of this NEET would be 30 per cent different from state exam syllabus...How can students who have studied always in a regional language suddenly take the test in Hindi or English?" she asked.

Earlier this week, the SC declared that NEET will be the sole entrance exam for all medical tests. It quashed all pleas against states and private, stating medical colleges cannot conduct separate common entrance tests for admission to medical and allied courses.

"Prima facie, we do not find any infirmity in the NEET regulation on the ground that it affects the rights of the states or the private institutions. Special provisions for reservation of any category are not subject matter of the NEET nor rights of minority are in any manner affected by NEET," the court had said.

"NEET only provides for conducting entrance test for eligibility for admission to the MBBS/BDS course. We thus, do not find any merit in the applications seeking modification of order dated 28 April, 2016," ruled the SC.

First published: 12 May 2016, 4:24 IST
Ipsita Sarkar @piercingharmony

Ipsita writes on education with focus on schools, higher education (engineering, B-Schools), HRD ministry, policies, and startup ecosphere. She's previously worked with Hindustan Times and Shiksha.com.