New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday said the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) for medical admissions will continue but it may permit a state-level common entrance test (CET) for admission to government medical colleges only.
However, this will be subject to the stand to be spelt out by the central government on Monday.
Making it clear that there would be no exemption for private medical colleges from NEET, a bench of Justice Anil R. Dave, Justice Shiva Kirti Singh and Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel indicated that it may permit CET for government medial college admissions after Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar said state education ministers were slated to meet central authorities during the weekend on the issue.
"They want to resolve the issue one way or the other," he told the court.
Adjourning the hearing till 2 p.m. on Monday when the central government will apprise the court of the outcome of the meeting with state ministers, the court also sought a response if candidates who had appeared in the first phase of NEET on May 1 could be allowed to reappear in the NEET second phase on July 24 after foregoing NEET-I.
Meanwhile, the Medical Council of India (MCI) told the apex court that it favoured grant of exemption from NEET in favour of state-level CET for admission to government medical colleges, and that only those candidates who had missed the May 1 NEET for whatever reasons may be allowed to appear in the second phase test on July 24.
As senior counsel Vikas Singh appearing for the MCI told the court that State level CET should be permitted for filling seats in government medical colleges, Ranjit Kumar said that he had to take instructions from the government.
As the court made it clear that private medical colleges would enjoy no exemption from NEET, senior counsel Rajeev Dhavan, appearing for an association of such colleges, said that when they had submitted themselves to the CET being conducted by the state government under a statute, they surrendered their 50 percent seats to be filled up by the state government.
"What emerges (from the hearing) is that everyone is exempted from NEET except for private medical colleges. In Karnataka it is statute that permits us (private medical colleges) to hold the entrance examination and as a consequence, we give them (the state) 50 percent of our seats," he said, adding that if they are not allowed to to hold their own exam, then "we will withdraw our 50 percent seats that are filled by the state government".