By Rajiv Shukla
NEW DELHI : Following a directive from the Central government, the AICTE has decided to
hold an all-India test for admission to the undergraduate
engineering and architecture courses from 2018.
This would be the third incarnation of
the all-India engineering admission test the first being AIEEE and
the second being the JEE (Mains).
The directive from the Ministry of Human
Resource Development (MHRD) to the AICTE came after it overruled objections from Bengal and
Tamil Nadu and a couple of days later, on February 10, it told the AICTE to go ahead with
an all-India engineering admission exam to admit students to eight
lakh B.Tech seats across 3,400 colleges in the country.
The states have, however, been given
the leeway to admit students to
their engineering colleges solely on the basis of the merit in the
all-India exam or to give some weightage to their board marks too.
The minimum weightage that must be given to candidates' scores in
the national exam, called National Entrance Examination for
Engineering and Architecture (NEEEA), has not been fixed yet but will be on the higher
side, said sources in the AICTE.
According to sources, the existing domicile rules will continue, and each state will be
provided a merit list of candidates from that state alone. A
national merit list too will be prepared for admission to central
government-run tech schools such as the National Institutes of
The AICTE decision about NEEEA was taken at a meeting of the Council
in early March where it was decided to issue regulations specifying
norms for the all India test.
the proposal is in accordance with the policy of the government to
improve standards and quality of engineering education, AICTE is
advised to issue suitable regulation for its implementation from
2018-19," order issued by R. Subrahmanyam, Additional Secretary
in the MHRD, said.
The council has been asked to ensure the test is conducted multiple
times a year and addresses linguistic diversity.
The all-India engineering admission
test was first introduced in 2002 when Dr Murli Manohar Joshi was
the union HRD minister. Named All India Engineering Entrance
Examination (AIEEE), the Central Board of Secondary Education was
made the nodal body to conduct the test. All private and government
engineering colleges in the country were given option to pick
students from the merit list of the exam, including the National Institutes of
Technology (NITs). The AIEEE, the first avatar of the pan-India exam lasted
10 years and was superseded by what was called Joint Entrance
Examination (Main) in 2013.
Under the JEE (Main), being conducted by the
states are allowed to hold their own admission tests or to admit
students on the basis of their board scores. The JEE (Main) has survived
for five years and would now be superseded by National Entrance
Examination for Engineering and Architecture (NEEEA) which would
most likely be conducted by the proposed National Testing Agency.
Bengal, TN exceptions
About 90 engineering colleges in Bengal admit some 21,000
undergraduate students on the basis of their performance in the West
Bengal Joint Entrance Examination. Bengal government argued that its state-level
exam was conducted very well and did not need to be replaced by a
Similarly the undergraduate engineering students in Tamil Nadu are admitted on the
basis of their Class XII board marks. The state's 533 undergraduate
engineering colleges have 1.6 lakh seats.
The Tamil Nadu government had contended that the state board's Class
XII science syllabus was not on a par with that taught by the
Central Board of Secondary Education.
Since questions in the NEEEA are expected, like those in the JEE
Main, to be of the central board's standards, Tamil Nadu argued that
a national entrance test might put students from the state at a
disadvantage. It was advised to immediately revise its school
Tamil Nadu also expressed apprehensions that its reservation volumes
- different from the national quota break-up - could be affected if
admissions were regulated by a national entrance exam.
"Two states have concerns but the council's regulations are binding
on all states and will prevail," a MHRD official said. He said the regulation would be notified
At present, a National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test is conducted as
a single-window admission test for undergraduate medical and dental
courses. It is conducted in 10 languages, including Bengali, Odia
and Assamese. The NEEEA may be held in all these languages.
The IITs treat the JEE Main as a filter and conduct a JEE Advanced
to select their students. They may continue with their separate
SC damns govt for NEET order but refuses to stay
By Sanjiv Dube
NEW DELHI : On July 14 the three judge Supreme Court
bench hearing the
Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) case criticised the
NEET ordinance calling it "disturbing,
unwarranted and not proper" but refused to stay it in
the interest of the students.
The bench, comprising
Justice Shiva Kirti Singh, Justice A R Dave and Justice
Adarsh K Goel said that staying
ordinance at this stage would trigger chaos as lakhs of
students across 17 States have already written exams in
their respective States.
The ordinance, called
the Indian Medical Council
(Amendment) Ordinance 2016
issued by the government on May 24, 2016
allowed States to conduct their own common entrance
exams for admission to MBBS and BDS seats in government
colleges despite the Supreme Court order on
May 9, 2016
that only NEET would prevail.
"Prime facie, we found that the validity of
the ordinance is in doubt. Since 50% of the states (17)
had already held their examinations, we do not grant any
relief," the bench said.
The court said it favoured a single common entrance
test for all medical colleges in order to bring
uniformity in the examination in the interest of
students and for maintaining a minimum standard.
In a strong comment on medical colleges admitting
students after taking money, Justice Dave said, "What to
talk about the middle class. It is even impossible for
upper middle class candidates to get admission in
medical colleges. Think of it..if you and I have to be
treated by a doctor who paid Rs 50 lakh to Rs 1 crore
NGO Sankalp Charitable Trust and Anand Rai, who
claimed to be Madhya Pradesh's Vyapam scam
whistleblower, sought a stay on the May 24 ordinance
that allowed states to conduct their own exams for
academic session 2016-17.
Opposing the prayer Attorney General Mukul
Rohatgi submitted that the NEET was mooted in the
Medical Council of India regulations as part of the
subordinate legislation and the government had power to
regulate it. Countering petitioner's plea, he said it
would affect lakhs of students, if the ordinance was
May 9 order was passed despite objections from
several States and private medical colleges that they
have their own exams and many are underway or about to
begin. The court simply had asked then to fall in line.
Expressing its displeasure the bench said : “Your
move to bring this ordinance despite our order was not
proper. It was unwarranted. It should not have happened.
When the court said ‘no’ to State exams, you disregard
us and issued an ordinance for State exams... Did you
not think about the confusion it would cause to the
children? After all these are our children,” Justice
Dave told Attorney-General.
Mr. Rohatgi said that the ordinance was not meant as an
affront to the Supreme Court’s authority.
He said the ordinance merely opened an “option” for
States to either opt for NEET or conduct their exams
exclusively for State seats for the current academic
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.