The Supreme Court has recently decided that it will not put a stay order on the ordinance brought forward by the central government on National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), which is a single window national entrance test for medical and dental college admissions across India. The ordinance presented and accepted by the President had earlier diluted the Supreme Court judgment for making NEET the sole examination for admission into medical and dental courses for the academic year 2016-17, across India.
The court, in response to the petition seeking stay on the ordinance recently stated, “Prima facie, we find that the constitutional validity of the ordinance is open to doubt and given that 50% of states have conducted the examination already, no interim relief is granted.” Health Activist Anand Rai, who is also happened to be the whistleblower of Vyapam scam in MP, had earlier filed the petition seeking stay in the ordinance passed by the government.
In the petition, Anand questioned the status of government over the NEET issue and criticized the flip-flop nature of the centre regarding the issue. The central government had primarily accepted the verdict of Supreme Court making NEET the only entrance examination for medical and dental admission this year, but later it reversed and supported the ordinance, keeping state boards out of the ambit of NEET.
Over 17 states have so far conducted their respective medical examinations this year, making it quite irrelevant to cancel all of them to allow NEET for this academic year. Rai on the other hand felt that various associations across the country should be treated with equality under law and administrative authority should be exercised to make sure there is fare decision-making going on. Speaking on the fluid stance of central government over the entire issue, he criticized it saying faulty. Even the lawyer of Rai, Vivek Tankha has stated that it is a clear violation of the orders of the Supreme Court and is contrary to the rule of law.
The ordinance got passed by the President Pranab Mukherjee on 25 May 2016, which freed the state government medical colleges and government seats in private medical colleges from the ambit of NEET this year. Even the deemed universities will conduct their own entrance tests, making only private medical institutes following the NEET scores and taking admission of students.
Quite a many students had also demanded delay in the implementation of NEET on the basis of differing syllabus and language issues associated with the exam. The Supreme Court on Thursday stated that NEET will set a benchmark for the aspiring doctors of the country as “NEET is not only in the interest of students but for the society at large.”