NEW DELHI : Bowing to states' pressure the
Union cabinet decided on May 20 to bring in an Ordinance
to grant relief to states and to partially modify the Supreme Court order on National
Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET).
The Supreme Court had on
ordered for an all-India common medical/ dental
admission test, the first phase of which, was held on
May 1 and the second one is due on July 24.
The Cabinet decision, the contents of which have not
been made public, will be sent to the President
to pass an executive order, setting aside the
Apex Court's May 9 order on NEET.
The ordinance amending the Indian Medical Council
Act 1956, which governs MBBS and BDS admissions,
says that NEET will be all-India from 2017-18 for
both undergraduate and postgraduate admissions. A
year’s relaxation was being granted only to state
governments in order to address their concerns over
variance in CBSE and state board syllabi, and
difference in the language in which the central test
The states have been
opposing the NEET this year on grounds of logistical
issues as well as regional differences in languages
making NEET an unfair benchmark for students from
The Ordinance proposes to
allow states to hold their own CET/PMT this year
only. The motive is to defer the
implementation of the NEET for states so as not to
affect the CETs/PMTs organised by them.
indications trickling out from Cabinet secretariat
and the Health Ministry the ordinance will
grant one year time to
states to hold their own CETs/PMTs;
institutions will have to pick students from May 1
and July 24 NEET merit list; and
medical/dental colleges and deemed universities will
have to pick students from NEET.
According to a Health Ministry source the states will
still have to hold the NEET-PG exam in November this
year for postgraduate admissions for the 2017-18
Legal experts say the ordinance will certainly be
challenged by private colleges because making special
provision for states will trigger a number of legal
issues. The Delhi-based NGO Sankalp Charitable Trust,
which had petitioned the Supreme Court to implement the
NEET after the April 11 ruling, has said that it would
challenge the ordinance.
Earlier this week, health ministers from 23 states
had met the Union Health Minister J P Nadda on
the issue and expressed their concern.
When asked about the
ordinance Nadda said the government was not against
NEET. “NEET has been implemented and it is in
existence. First phase is over and the second phase
of the exam will be held on July 24. Some states
have raised certain issues and we are looking into
it. A detailed clarification will be issued on
Saturday ,“ he added.
Kejriwal, the Chief Minister of Delhi, tweeted that
he had urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi not to
bring an ordinance as it would send the message that
"the government is with those who have black or
Mr Kejriwal said that "many leaders and lawmakers
from many parties" run their own medical colleges
and have their own reasons for opposing a common
national test. Corruption in exams held in states
was the reason the Supreme Court ordered NEET or
National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test for the
education minister Vinod Tawde termed the Centre’s
decision as a “victory for all students”.
“Our aim was to relieve students from the state. The
efforts of people from the state and lakhs of
students from other states made it possible,” said
“The 2,810 seats in 20
government-run medical institutes will be filled on
the basis of MH-CET scores. But students applying
for the 3,395 seats in private and deemed
universities will have to appear for NEET this
year,” said Dr Pravin Shingare, director of the
Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER),
NEET : SC to consider plea for regional
By Academics-India news desk
NEW DELHI : On May 10 the Supreme Court said it
would consider Central government's request to permit
the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) to be
conducted in July this year in six vernacular languages
other than English and Hindi.
The government request came a day after the
three-judge bench headed by Justice Anil R. Dave had
refused to allow states or private medical colleges to
admit students in their respective colleges on the basis
of their own common entrance tests.
On May 10 Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar submitted
before the bench a request seeking permission to
hold NEET in vernacular languages as well.
His submission was that NEET-2 be allowed in six
regional languages : Tamil, Telugu, Marathi, Assamese,
Bengali and Gujarati as a large
number of students of State boards will take the
He said in 2013 when NEET was first held, exam was held
in these six languages other than English and Hindi and
the court on its own included Urdu as well. The same
arrangement can be considered for this year, he said.
Counsel for States and other colleges submitted that if
the court was to modify May 9 order, it should
hear everyone. Justice Dave said the court will consider
he request and pass appropriate orders.
Notably, the court has not prohibited the CBSE, the
examination conducting body, to consider the issue of preparing
question paper in vernacular languages.
Meanwhile, the Medical Council of India also mentioned
before the court seeking modification of the
Constitution bench decision for setting up an oversight
committee headed by former Chief Justice of India
Justice R M Lodha over the regulatory body.
1 held smoothly, over 6 lakh sit for exam
By Rajiv Shukla
NEW DELHI : With the first phase of National
Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET) 2016-17 having being
conducted smoothly and flawlessly the defiant
states and private medical college owners stand a bleak
chance to get the desired relief in the Supreme Court.
The coveted medical and dental
admission test was held all over the country in
execution of the Apex Court order dated April 28 in
Sankalp Charitable Trust case.
The second phase will be held on July 24 as directed
by the Bench of Justices Anil R. Dave, S.K. Singh and
According to the officials of the Central
Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) who conducted the
test over six lakh students appeared for the first phase
of the NEET on Sunday, May 1. In all 6.67 lakh students
had registered for the examination.
“Reports we received suggested there were around 8 per
cent students [of the total registered] who did not take
the test. This figure is considerably less than the
previous year’s when around 15 per cent of candidates
were absentees,” a senior official said.
The CBSE had ordered quick but firm frisking of
aspirants who were allowed to wear traditional and
religious clothes, including burqas, in exam halls.
Jammers were installed at sensitive centres across the
country to prevent cheating.
“The exam went smoothly and the feedback we received was
largely positive,” a CBSE official said, adding that
metal detectors and jammers were used to ensure that
unfair means were not used.
The Supreme court had approved the exam in two phases
and okayed the suggestion by the CBSE to treat the May 1
All India Pre-Medical Test (AIPMT) as NEET phase one.
"The overall attendance in NEET today was
92 per cent. Based on the CBSE guidelines, students were
allowed to enter the examination hall between 7.30 am
and 9.30 am," said an official of the CBSE regional
office in Bihar. The 180-minute examination got under
way at 10 am.
Most of the medical aspirants who appeared in the NEET
said the paper was average. "Questions from physics and
chemistry portions were average, while biology paper was
easier as most of the questions were from NCERT book,"
said a medical aspirant after coming out of Kendriya
Vidyalaya, Bailey Road.
In Kota, Rajasthan, which hosts a
thriving coaching business, a number of low-potency
jammers were installed at almost all the examination
centres to block data services. Jammers were also
installed at all the examination centres in Gurgaon,
Haryana and may centres in Delhi-NCR.
Students had to go through a thorough but quick fristing
and some of them were stunned when they were asked to
take off their footwear and enter the exam hall. Many
were even asked to leave their analogue watches outside.
“It was so strange. I had to take the exam barefoot. I
wore an analogue watch. What possible calculation can be
done with it? My water bottle was transparent. Yet, they
did not let it in,” said a student of Vidya Mandir
Girls who took the exam at Delhi Public
School were asked to take off their hairband and then
their hair was checked, said a student.
SC orders NEET in 2 phases, first phase on May 1
By Our Correspondent
NEW DELHI : In a firm move, the Supreme Court on
accepted the government suggestion to hold the National
Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET) 2016-17 in two phases,
terming CBSE's All India Pre-medical/Pre-dental Entrance
Test, scheduled on May 1, as NEET-1.
The Bench of Justices Anil R. Dave, S.K. Singh and
A.K. Goel which took up the
Sankalp Charitable Trust case
on Thursday, rejected strong
protests by States like Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Uttar
Pradesh that it was too late and ordered that the NEET
would be held all over the country.
ordered that the NEET would be held this
academic year notwithstanding any orders to the contrary
from any other courts. All challenges to this order
would come directly before the Supreme Court and be
heard in due course, the order said.
The court said that the
2013 judgment quashing the NEET is not in operation as of date as the Supreme Court
had recalled it on April 11. Hence, it said, there was
no bar against conducting the NEET this academic year.
As per the NEET schedule submitted by the CBSE, the
All India Pre-medical/Pre-dental Entrance Test,
scheduled for May 1 and for which 6,67,637 are to appear
from 1,040 centres in 52 cities, including abroad, will
be considerd as NEET-1.
This will protect the interests of students who had
left their homes for the exam and have fully prepared
NEET-2 will be conducted for the remaining candidates,
and the entire process, from collection of information
from the States to declaration of results, will begin
from May 7.
NEET-2 will be held on July 24 and the results
published by the CBSE on August 17.
Taking a strong stand the SC bench turned down plea
of state governments and private colleges that NEET
cannot be imposed on them. With today's SC order, all
other examinations scheduled for next month stand
"Those students who have not applied for AIPMT will
be given opportunity to appear in second phase of the
NEET examination on July 24," the SC said.
NEET, which was declared illegal and
unconstitutional by SC in 2013, was restored on April 11
after a five-judge Constitution bench recalled the
earlier verdict and allowed the Centre and the Medical
Council of India (MCI) to implement the common entrance
test till the court decides afresh on its validity.
Despite the revival of NEET, the authorities failed to
implement it, forcing NGO Sankalp Charitable Trust to
approach SC for enforcing the mechanism for a common
test for admission in MBBS, BDS and PG courses in all
Advocate Amit Kumar, appearing for the petitioner
Sankalp Charitable Trust, told a Apex Court bench that
the Centre, MCI and CBSE were dilly-dallying in
implementing the court's order on implementing the
students to appear in as many as 90 entrance exams
across the country for admission.
The bench agreed with his contention and said NEET
must be implemented from the coming academic session
itself. It directed the Centre, MCI and CBSE to sit
together and frame a time-schedule for conducting NEET.
It directed them to place before it by Thursday a
dateline for the common entrance test. The counsel
appearing for the government, MCI and CBSE
told the bench that there were "willing and committed"
to hold NEET for 2016-17 and agreed to place the
proposed time-schedule on Thursday.
Lakhs of students appear for various medical entrance
examinations in more than 400 colleges and there are
more than 52,000 seats available for MBBS courses. After
the scrapping of NEET, states and private colleges have
been conducting exams separately for the last three
is back, SC bench scraps earlier judgement
By Rajiv Shukla
NEW DELHI : In a landmark move the Supreme Court of
India on April 11 recalled its one of the most
controversial judgements --
case judgement -- and ordered that "the
case be heard afresh".
The case, called
National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET)
case was delivered on July 18, 2013 by the Chief Justice
of India Altamas Kabir a day
before he was to retire, giving ample relief to private
medical colleges. Some
private medical colleges had challenged the Medical
Council of India and Dental Council of India regulations
on admissions to medical and dental college -- and the
relief allowed them to have their way in the matter of
recall of the judgement
status quo ante has been restored and the MCI has
been told to organise a combined all-India admission
test for private and government medical colleges.
However, the MCI vice-chairman Dr C V
Bhirmanandham has expressed his inability to hold the
all-India test this year because of paucity of time and
this may allow the private players to have their way
this year as well.
Hearing the review petitions on April 11
the Constitution bench of the Supreme Court headed by
Justice A R Dave and comprising Justices A K Sikri, R K
Agrawal, A K Goel and R Banumathi recalled the
dated July 18, 2013 which had quashed NEET.
It said the “majority verdict“ delivered by then Chief
Justice Altamas Kabir did not consider an earlier SC
judgment that was binding on the bench, nor had he
consulted other members of his bench.
Incidentally Justice A R Dave, who headed
the 5-judge Constitution bench that recalled the earlier
order had given a dissenting verdict in the NEET case.
In his April 11 order he specified that he was not
consulted by the then CJI
The April 11 order comes just a month
before separate entrance tests are to be held for
government and private medical colleges, putting lakhs
of students in confusion. There are over 400 medical
colleges in the country and lakhs of students sit for
admission tests for over 52,000 MBBS seats. Since 2013,
state governments and private colleges have conducted
separate examinations for these.
Monday's order leaves Medical Council of India with the
onerous task of conducting the NEET at a short notice as
students have already filled in forms for several
judgment reviving the NEET
was pronounced in open court, stunned lawyers appearing
for private colleges, pleaded that the SC clarify the
consequences. The bench replied that “natural
consequence“ was that NEET comes into force. It said the
court would give a fresh hearing on constitutional
validity of NEET but in the meantime, the exam will be
restored. The lawyers then pleaded that the MCI's
notification to bring NEET back be stayed till its
validity was decided afresh and said that in 2013, too,
an interim stay was given. The bench, however, rejected
the plea saying the interim order was only for one
academic session and it could not continue.
“After giving our thoughtful and due
consideration, we are of the view that the judgment
delivered in Christian Medical College needs
reconsideration,“ the bench said.
Recalling earlier order the Constitution
bench allowed review petitions by the Union government
and the Medical Council of India (MCI) against the July
18, 2013, verdict and restored the NEET 2011
“The NEET regulations are restored and MCI can conduct
the examinations pending the fresh judgement,” the order
According to the 2011 notification, the
CBSE was to conduct the tests for admission to MBBS and
BDS courses and the National Board of Examination for
the PG programmes.
The 2013 verdict
The 2013 verdict had created a buzz in
the apex court corridors as an advocate had posted the
outcome on a social networking site in advance. However,
Justice Kabir had reportedly said he was not aware of
the leak of the judgment.
While Justice Vikramjit Sen (since retired) had shared
the views and findings of Justice Kabir against the
NEET, Justice Dave had in his dissenting verdict said
that the three judges "had no discussion on the subject
due to paucity of time". Justice Dave had stressed that
this was not the normal practice.
Justice Dave had written in 2013 that
“one of the main considerations of having one common
entrance test conducted by the Medical Council of India
is to check the malaise of money-making business in the
admission process by selling their seats for crores,
which has been going on for the last so many years in
The Christian Medical College, Vellore;
the States of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu; several
associations of private medical colleges; DD Medical
College and DD Hospital, Tamil Nadu; and various private
medical colleges had filed petitions in High Courts and
obtained an interim stay on the applicability of the
NEET on them. On the MCI’s petitions, these cases were
transferred to the Supreme Court.
Misra panel suggests key changes in JEE main
By Our Correspondent
NEW DELHI : An expert committee of the Union
HRD Ministry has suggested an online aptitude test, held
more than once a year, by a National Testing Service
(NTS), instead of the current JEE Main conducted by the
CBSE, a ministry announcement said on November 7.
Those who qualify the NTS aptitude test will be eligible
to write the JEE. Admission to both IITs and NITs will
be based on the results in the JEE, the ministry said.
The changes, according to the ministry, will come into
effect only from 2017 or 2018 and till then the existing
system will continue, allowing 40 per cent weightage for
12th marks. However, instead of 1.5 lakh students, now
two lakh will qualify from JEE Main for JEE Advanced.
"The government has decided to place the recommendations
of the report in the public domain for widespread
consultation with the stakeholders. Since this process
would take some time, it was decided that the JEE 2016
shall be conducted in the same manner as in 2015," it
The ministry had appointed a committee led by IIT
Roorkee chairman Prof. Ashok Misra to suggest changes to
the IITs and NIT admission system. It submitted its
report to the MHRD on November 5 suggesting setting up
of NTS by early 2016 to conduct an Aptitude Test on the
lines of SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) conducted in the
"The aptitude test may be offered two or more times in a
year and would be an online test. The testing shall test
the scientific thinking and cannot be gamed through
coaching. Based on this performance, about 4 lakh
candidates shall be shortlisted for taking the JEE," the
panel suggested. "The JEE itself will be on the lines of
the current JEE (Advanced) ," it added.
1. Major changes in the structure of JEE be effected
from 2017 onwards:
• A National Testing Service shall be set up by early
2016, mandated to conduct an Aptitude Test, which should
test the scientific aptitude and innovative thinking
ability. The Aptitude test may be offered 2 or more
times in a year and would be an online test. The testing
shall test the scientific thinking and cannot be gamed
• Based on this performance, about 4 lakh candidates
shall be short-listed for taking the JEE.
• The JEE itself will be on the lines of the current JEE
(Advanced) and designed to test the knowledge in
Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics; and will be
conducted by the IITs.
• From this, ranks will be issued to 40,000+ students
who can seek admission in IITs and NITs based on a
• The IITs be requested to set up a system for
developing mock JEE examinations which will help
students prepare for the JEE significantly and wean them
away from the coaching industry. The possibility of
using the MOOCS platform can also be explored.
• MHRD may take measures for the improvement of school
education and the method of examination of the Boards,
so that students with the Science aptitude are well
prepared in the concepts by the time they reach 12th
grade, without dependence on coaching institutions.
2. Till such time, that is for 2016 and 2017, the
practice of two tier JEE examination shall be continued.
• The top 200,000 students from JEE (Main) shall be
allowed to appear in JEE (Advanced).
• More than 40,000 ranks will be issued in JEE
(Advanced) for developing a better system for selection
• Joint counselling for IITs and NITs shall be continued
as was done last year.
3. Board marks shall not to be counted for giving
rankings this year for NITs, CFTIs etc.
The Government has decided to place the
recommendations of the Report in the public domain for
widespread consultation with the stakeholders.
Since this process would take some time, it was decided
that the JEE 2016 shall be conducted in the same manner
as 2015, with an enhanced intake from 1.5 lakh to two
lakh into the JEE (Advanced) stage. The weightage given
to Board marks in JEE (Main) would continue for the year
No age bar in
CLAT, rules Allahabad HC
By Our Correspondent
LUCKNOW : The Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) for
admission to law universities in the country will have
no age bar from next year.
This is because of the
Allahabad high court order dated
February 26 which ordered the RMLNLU to
remove age bar on the coveted exam.
CLAT, the gateway to 16 law
universities that includes the likes of National Law
School of India University (NLSIU), Bengaluru, NALSAR
University of Law, Hyderabad and the National University
of Juridical Sciences (NUJS), Kolkata, was conducted by Ram Manohar Lohiya National Law
University, Lucknow, (RMLNLU)
CLAT has been in controversy this year and
RMLNLU was forced to extend the deadline of application as the
Supreme Court rejected its appeal on March 27 bringing
Allahabad high court order dated
February 26 into play.
The High Court had on February 26 directed the CLAT authorities to remove age bar on the
test and extend the deadline for the online acceptance
of CLAT forms.
CLAT is an all-India entrance examination conducted in
rotation by the 16 national law universities for
admissions to their undergraduate and postgraduate
degree programmes (LLB and LLM). CLAT-2015 is being
conducted by RMLNLU, Lucknow and the last date for
submission of online applications for CLAT was March 31.
RMLNLU, it may be recalled, had gone into appeal against
the Allahabad High Court order following CLAT core
committee decision of March 20 to make one last-ditch
effort to salvage CLAT by
filing a special leave petition in the Supreme Court
requesting it to allow CLAT core committee to continue
with the 20-year age limit for admission to the
The CLAT core committee had authorised RMLNLU to file a SLP
in the apex court but at the same time
keep entertaining applications from candidates above 20
years of age.
According to the strategy discussed and approved by the
core committee the
Allahabad high court order dated
February 26, 2015 ought to be challenged in the apex
court but at the same time preparation must be made to
execute the high court order, if need be.
“If the Supreme Court agrees to the 20-year age bar, we
will reject the applications of candidates who are above
20 years. In case, they quash our writ petition, we will
include all applications of candidates who are above 20
years of age“, JD Gangawar, CLAT convener had told a
Allahabad high court had on February 26 quashed the
maximum age limit of 20 years for appearing in CLAT for
admission to five-year integrated LLB course. The
courses include BA-LLB (Hons), BSc LLb (Hons), BBA LLB (Hons),
BSW LLB (Hons) and BCom LLB (Hons).
On February 26 the Allahabad high court
had ordered the university to
“accept the forms of those candidates also who have
crossed 20 years of age and allow them to appear them in
the examinations subject to their satisfying other
conditions of eligibility.”
High Court order
The interim order was passed by Justice SK Gupta on a petition
moved by Devasheesh Pathak and 20 others who had
challenged the advertisement issued by Dr Ram Manohar
Lohia University, Lucknow, the organiser of Common Law
Admission Test (CLAT-2015).
The court declared as illegal the upper age limit of 20
years fixed for appearing in the Combined Law Admission
Test (CLAT). The judgment would affect admission to 16
national law schools in the country.
The court was of the view that the age limit of 20 years
stated in the advertisement as well as the information
brochure was “without authority of law” since there was
“no provision of law which gives the university the
power to fix the upper age limit”.
In view of the fact that the last date for submission of
forms was March 31, the court directed the
vice-chancellor of the Dr Ram Manohar Lohia University
to “accept the forms of those candidates also who have
crossed 20 years of age and allow them to appear them in
the examinations subject to their satisfying other
conditions of eligibility.”
With this order, the court also said that only the
Bar Council of India had the authority to set standards
for law education in the country. The BCI had set
guidelines and rules in the year 2008 and had set an age
limit. However, it withdrew its guideline on age after
it was challenged. Despite this reversal Dr Ram Manohar
Law University was still sticking to its age limit which
the court said was against Article 19 of the
The Allahabad High Court interim order will have a decisive
impact on CLAT admission procedure unless it is
challenged by the RML University authorities.
Dr Ram Manohar Lohia University, Lucknow, the organiser
of Common Law Admission Test (CLAT-2015) had been
ducking directives from a number of high courts, the
Rajasthan High Court on
one pretext or the other but now the order has come from
Allahabad High Court which if ignored may prove too
costly for the institution.
Admission test : a pvt venture for 11 pvt
From Our Correspondent
NEW DELHI : A group of 11 private universities --
some of them deemed universities -- have decided to pick
students for admission from an examination to be
conducted by a Bangalore-based private agency, ERA
The students from the test result will be picked for the
undergraduate run by these private institutions
including medical, engineering and dental science
Modelled on SAT and GRE the Uni-Gauge EMeD exam will
be held in 60 cities. Calcutta will have several exam
centres and there will be some in other parts of the
state. The test will be held on April 26 -- online --
and the results will be declared online on April 29.
At present each of these participating university used
to hold its own admission test leading to multiplicity
of tests and increasing financial burden on the
students. Single common test will ease students' load.
The only catch is that there are few -- just a couple of
institutions in the group -- that students would aspire
The participating universities include MS Ramaiah
University of Applied Sciences, Bangalore; Vellore
Institute of Technology and JSS
Like SAT and GRE each aspirant will be awarded a
score and the participating universities will pick
their students from the merit list prepared by firm.