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One national entrance test for medical UG courses

August 25, 2012

Candidates for medical and dental undergraduate professional courses all over India will take a common National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) from the next academic year, doing away with the Common Entrance Test (CET). But a stay order from the Karnataka High Court on the Medical Council of India (MCI) notification introducing NEET could prevent students in the state from taking the exam.

The decision to hold NEET from next year was taken on Wednesday during a meeting of higher education departments officials from all the states in New Delhi. Officials from Karnataka who attended the meeting confirmed the move, saying, “NEET 2013 will be held on May 12, 2013, simultaneously across India. The MCI will publish the model question paper within a week or two.”

If the high court allows this decision to be implemented in Karnataka, the CET, which is in practice in the state, will not be applicable from next year for medical and dental professional undergraduate courses.

The decision to hold NEET, a national-level entrance test, from next year was the outcome of a Supreme Court direction in the case of Priya Gupta vs State of Chhattisgarh in 2011.

NEET could pose a problem for state-syllabus students (second-year pre-university students) since it is designed on the central syllabus. This could prove advantageous for Indian School Certificate and Central Board for Secondary Examination students.

But students in Karnataka need not worry for the time being as the state private medical and dental colleges’ association has already sought a stay from the Karnataka High Court on the notifications issued by the MCI regarding NEET in May. A May 4 court order said: “The notifications issued by the MCI will be stayed until further orders.”

At least 12 medical and 25 dental colleges in Karnataka had signed the writ petition before the high court. “When there is a stay for the same, how can it be implemented?” said a management representative of a top medical college. “We need not worry about the implementation when there is a stay.”

The All India Council for Technical Education is yet to decide on NEET for candidates for professional undergraduate engineering courses. Sources said the council will take a decision in this regard within a week.

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