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UP to pick aspirants from NEET merit list
On June 1 Uttar Pradesh government announced its decision to pick students for admission to its medical colleges from National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) scheduled on July 24.

The Uttar Pradesh Combined Pre-Medical Test (UP CPMT) will not be held this year, the state government announced on Wednesday.

Medical Education Department officials advised the students to prepare for the July 24 test and make the best use of it.

“It has been decided to go with NEET for admissions to state run MBSS and dental colleges. For admissions to courses under AYUSH, a notification would be issued soon,“ said principal
secretary , medical education, Anup Chandra Pandey .

The government's decision has cleared uncertainty over UP CPMT which had left the aspirants confused. The central government has brought in an ordinance to postpone NEET until next year and keep out state medical exams from its ambit. The first phase of NEET was held on May 1.

NEET-II on July 24, online registration on
NEW DELHI : The second phase of
National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) for undergraduate medical and dental college admissions will be held on July 24. Online registration for the test has begun.

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) announced on May 25 that the test will be applicable to the all-India quota seats (15 pc in each state government medical college), state government quota seats where the state  government opts to join the NEET system and private/ management/ and NRI quota seats in all private medical and dental colleges as well as all private or deemed universities.

Clarifying the categories of students who can appear for NEET UG-II on July 24, the CBSE said, "As per the directives of the Supreme Court dated May 9 regarding the test, the following sets of students can take NEET UG-II :-

  • Candidates who could not register in NEET-1 held on May 1.

  • Candidates who registered for AIMPT/ NEET-1 but could not appear in it.

  • Candidates who had appeared for NEET-1 but think they had not prepared well and so did not do well can appear for NEET UG-II, subject to submission of an undertaking to give up their candidature for NEET-1."

The CBSE's Joint Secretary-cum-OSD for NEET, Sayyam Bhardwaj, said that online applications for NEET UG-II could be submitted at www.aipmt.nic.in and students
can check the exam details on this website before submitting applications.

The board will be uploading information regarding the test, syllabus and eligibility criteria on the website.

On May 1, the CBSE had conducted the All India Pre-Medical Test (AIPMT) that till now filled 15 per cent of medical seats in most states. The apex court has ruled that this exam will be treated as NEET-1 this year.

A CBSE source said that online registrations for NEET-2 were supposed to start from May 21 but the confusion over the ordinance had delayed it.

Roll numbers and centres will be allotted by July 7 while the students will be able to download their admit cards from July 8 to July 22. The tentative date for the results of the July 24 online test is August 17.

Although the CBSE wanted the NEET-2 restricted to students who did not apply for the May 1 exam, the court has given a second chance to students who took the AIPMT but only if they forgo their scores in the earlier exam.

Telangana: Medical Eamcet on July 9
HYDERABAD : The Telangana Eamcet to fill MBBS and BDS seats in various colleges in the 10 districts will be held on July 9.

Online registrations will commence from June 1 till June 7 without fines. However, with a late fee ranging from Rs 500 to Rs 10,000, students can apply for the exam till July 7. Registration fee for the test is Rs 250 for SCs and STs and Rs 500 for others.

Hall tickets can be downloaded from July 2 onwards. Unlike the usual practice of holding the medical entrance test in the afternoon, this time the exam will be held from 10 am to 1 pm. The
results will be announced on July 14.

UP students wait for new CPMT dates
LUCKNOW: The news of NEET ordinance has triggered off hope in Uttar Pradesh as the students feel this will open up opportunities in state medical colleges. They are now
awaiting CPMT dates.

“My biggest worry during preparation was that NEET pattern was different from that of CPMT. From tomorrow onwards I will prepare for CPMT,” said Pratistha, an aspirant.

The medical education department is yet to receive any communication on NEET. “We are yet to receive communication from the central government and when we receive it, we shall do
whatever is mentioned in it,” said Anoop Chand Pandey, principal secretary, medical education.

The UP Combined Pre-Medical Test-2016 was slated on May 17 but was cancelled as it was decided that CPMT candidates would take the NEETII to be held on July 24 and all state
college seats would be filled through that. Now with the central government decision, UP CPMT would be back.

Officials in the medical education department said once the ordinance reached them, CPMT dates would be announced in the next 10 days. After cancellation of CPMT, the fee charged
was not refunded, so there would be no hurdle in conducting CPMT.

Punjab to hold PMET on June 12
Baba Farid University of Health Sciences (BFUHS) and the Department of Medical Education and Research (DMER), Punjab were quick to announce the dates of Punjab Medical Entrance Test (PMET-2016).

Ending nearly three weeks of uncertainty Baba Farid University of Health Sciences (BFUHS) and the Department of Medical Education and Research (DMER), Punjab, said that the test would be held on June 12.

Earlier, this test for about 2,000 MBBS and BDS seats in the state was scheduled to be held on May 15, but BFUHS cancelled it after the Supreme Court ordered that the states could not hold separate examinations for medical courses.

The university portal inviting the students to fill application forms for PMET-2016 has been opened again. The students can apply online for the test in the next five days, said Dr Raj Bahadur, Vice-Chancellor, BFUHS.

It is the first time that BFUHS is conducting the PMET online. A week before the SC ordered the National Eligibility and Entrance Test (NEET), BFUHS had started an online mock test. But on April 30, the cancellation of the test was announced.

Telangana to hold Eamcet afresh
HYDERABAD : The Telangana state government announced on May 20 that it would conduct a fresh Eamcet for filling medical and dental seats hours after the Union cabinet agreed to promulgate an ordinance to keep state boards out of the ambit of the Neet for this year.

The AP government will release the medical stream results of the Eamcet conducted on April 29, at 11 am on Saturday. Results for other streams had been released on May 13.

Andhra results

Andhra Pradesh government is making arrangements to release results of the medical entrance exam on Saturday.

The test was held on April 29. The results were earlier to be released on May 9 but were kept on hold in view of the Supreme Court judgment on May 9 turning down a clutch of petitions
seeking postponement of Neet at the time of holding the examination.

Mr Chandrababu Naidu will  release the results of the medical stream at 11 am in Vijayawada on Saturday.

No COMEDK test for medical course
Following Supreme Court order in Sankalp Charitable Trust case on May 6, the COMEDK authorities have scrapped the test for medical and dental colleges.

COMEDK Chief Executive A.S. Srikanth said that there will be no UGET of the COMEDK for admissions to private medical and dental colleges, scheduled for Sunday. However, entrance exam for admission to private engineering colleges will be held as scheduled.

COMEDK officials said the Supreme Court’s order on May 6  makes it clear that private associations cannot hold any exam.

As many as 1.01 lakh of the total 1.79 lakh who have registered for the UGET are aspirants of medical or dental seats. The COMEDK UGET was supposed to be conducted for 708 medical and dental seats in 12 medical and 19 dental colleges.

Sunday’s exam will now be held only for the 18,000 engineering seats in 161 engineering colleges.

NEET Phase 2 only for new candidates
NEW DELHI : On April 30 the Health Ministry clarified that the  candidates who have registered for the All India Pre-Medical Test (AIPMT) - now known as NEET phase 1 - will not be eligible to appear for phase II, if they skip the test on May 1.

Flooded with queries from students who want to use the next two months to prepare for Phase II rather than take May 1 test, a senior Ministry official said: “Many are looking at using
the opportunity to prepare. We want it to be clear that the second phase test is only for students currently appearing in State examinations. If a student has been given an admit card,
and does not take the test on May 1, he/she will not get another opportunity.

“The second phase is only for students who did not register for AIPMT. In some States, particularly Tamil Nadu, students are evaluated on the basis of marks they get in Class 12 Board
exams and they will have to take the second phase of NEET,” said the official.

As things stand, the AIPMT scheduled for May 1 will be treated as the first phase of NEET. Students who had not applied for AIPMT because of State-level examinations, can appear in the second phase on July 24. The results will be declared on August 17, and the Health Ministry will soon announce the schedule for counselling, the official said.

The State-level examinations now under way will be rendered ineffective. “We will comply with the orders of the Supreme Court. The second phase examination is for those students who are currently appearing for State-level exam,” said Sanyam Bharadwaj, Officer on Special Duty, AIPMT.

CBSE officials estimate that over 2.5 lakh students will take the NEET Phase II test in July in addition to the 6.5 lakh candidates likely to appear for the first phase.

One agency for all higher edu exams
By Our Correspondent
: The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has set up a task force to prepare a blueprint for a national agency to conduct various entrance examinations and recruitment tests in the country.

The eight-member task force will be headed by former IIT-Kanpur director Sanjay Dhandhe.

The Chairman of the Central Board of Secondary Education, and one representative each from the University Grants Commission (UGC) and All India Institute of Technical Education (AICTE) will be among the members of the panel, among others.

The proposal to set up a National Testing Agency (NTA) is yet another ambitious move by the Centre to push its “one nation, one test” agenda to relieve students from the burden of facing multiple entrance tests, even as MHRD assures that the new system will not be imposed on any institution.

According to the MHRD proposal, NTA's basic mandate will be to conduct efficient, transparent tests of international standards in order to assess the competency of candidates for admission to colleges and professional institutes of higher learning, including engineering, medicine and management.

The proposal also seeks to hold nationwide tests for the purpose of recruitment in various government departments and granting scholarships in future.

“The task force set up to prepare the blueprint will suggest ways and means of setting up such an internationally-benchmarked testing and assessment agency. It will also suggest parameters to standardise all the major tests, including the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE), conducted in the country,” a HRD Ministry official said on July 12.

The idea of setting up a National Testing Agency has been under the consideration of the ministry for several years. When Kapil Sibal was the HRD minister, he had wanted to set up the NTA by an Act of Parliament to make it a statutory body.

The ministry, however, later dropped the idea of setting up such a body in view of its experiences with its various key legislations, which have been pending for passage in Parliament for a long time.

The ministry now plans to set up the proposed agency by an executive order. The proposal to set up NTA got approval of the Central Advisory Board on Education (CABE) in its last meeting.


No NEET style exam for engg stream : AICTE chief

NEW DELHI : On June 7 the Chairman of the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) ruled out any common entrance test for engineering seats in the country.

AICTE chief Anil Dattatraya Sahasrabudhe told reporters in Bangalore that though there was “thinking” on the lines, nothing concrete can be expected even next academic year.

“Right now, there is no proposal (for a common entrance exam). The thinking is there, but it won’t be any time soon,” he told reporters at the 51st annual convocation of Bangalore University (BU).

Pointing out that some States were already using
Joint Entrance Exam (JEE) Mains scores to pick students for their colleges he said that the implementation of one exam for the whole country would require an “alignment in syllabus,” without which students of the State syllabus would be at a disadvantage.

Start-up policy

Elaborating on employment for students, which comprised much of his convocation address, Mr. Sahasrabudhe also revealed that the AICTE would be launching a ‘start-up policy’ within two months, which colleges across the country could adopt on a voluntary basis.

“It is a big myth that the large industries have more jobs. It is actually the start-ups and small and medium scale industries that have a large number of jobs. We will give a framework to colleges,” he said.

What this could mean for students is a possibility of getting credits for projects that would otherwise not fetch them anything, the AICTE chairman added.

On some companies delaying recruiting students even two years after giving them offer letters, the AICTE chairman emphasised the need to ensure students met the standards to get recruited. "There is a need to regularly update the syllabus," he said.

Cabinet okays ordinance to defer NEET for states

By Sanjiv Dube
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 May 9 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 is held.

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 state boards.

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.

According to 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;

  • the Central institutions will have to pick students from May 1 and July 24 NEET merit list; and

  • all private 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 academic session.

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.

Meanwhile Arvind 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 untaxed money."

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 entire country.

Maharashtra state 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 Tawde.

“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), Maharashtra.

NEET : SC to consider plea for regional languages

By Academics-India news desk
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 examination.

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.

NEET 1 held smoothly, over 6 lakh sit for exam

By Rajiv Shukla
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 directedNEET aspirants and their parents stand outside the gate before the NEET-1 examination in R K Puram, New Delhi. (Photo courtesy : Vipin Kumar/HT) by the Bench of Justices Anil R. Dave, S.K. Singh and A.K. Goel.

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.

Brisk frisking
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 College.

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
In a firm move, the Supreme Court on April 28 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.

The court 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 for it.

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 scrapped.

"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 colleges.

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 NEET, compelling 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 years.

NEET is back, SC bench scraps earlier judgement

By Rajiv Shukla
In a landmark move the Supreme Court of India on April 11 recalled its one of the most controversial judgements -- NEET 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 dayAltamash Kabir 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 admissions.

With the 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 judgment 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 Altamas Kabir.

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 entrance tests.

Immediately after 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 notification.

“The NEET regulations are restored and MCI can conduct the examinations pending the fresh judgement,” the order said.

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 private colleges.”

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
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.Prof Ashok Misra

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 said.

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 US.

"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.

The recommendations:

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 through coaching.

• 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 common counselling.

• 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 of candidates.

• 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 2016.

No age bar in CLAT, rules Allahabad HC

By Our Correspondent
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) this year.

CLAT Controversy

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 the 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 undergraduate courses.

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 reporter earlier.

The 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 constitution.

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 latest being 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 varsities

From Our Correspondent
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 Foundation.

The students from the test result will be picked for the undergraduate run by these private institutions including medical, engineering and dental science courses.

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 for.

The participating universities include MS Ramaiah University of Applied Sciences, Bangalore; Vellore Institute of Technology and JSS University, Mysore.

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.


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