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Medical entrance as per schedule: SC

 NEW DELHI, April 29 - The Supreme Court today said that the entrance test for admission to MBBS and BDS courses for the academic year 2016-17 will be held as per the schedule through the single common entrance test National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET) on May 1 and July 24.

The apex court, which in the morning indicated that it will give an urgent hearing for modification of yesterday’s order, later said it was not going to have a bench for hearing it today.

The court said it will go into the issue of modification in due course after the parties file their applications in this regard.

Justice AR Dave, before whom the matter was mentioned by Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, said, “We are not having the bench. Let the exam go on. Let them file the applications.”

When Justice Dave said that the matter would not be heard today, he was sitting in a different bench.

Earlier in the day, the Centre had approached the apex court seeking modification of its yesterday’s order to allow State governments and private colleges to hold separate entrance examinations for MBBS and BDS courses for the academic year 2016-17.

The bench had then indicated of hearing the matter later in the day by the same bench which had passed the order yesterday.

Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi had suggested that the order passed by the apex court yesterday allowed holding of a two-phased single common entrance test for MBBS and BDS courses through NEET on May 1 and July 24, but there appears to be some genuine difficulties and there is a need for some change in the order.

He suggested that the first phase of NEET scheduled for May 1 be scrapped and all the students be allowed to take the exams on July 24.

Rohatgi said there was a need to modify yesterday’s order as there was a lot of confusion arising out of it.

The apex court had yesterday cleared the decks for the holding of NEET in two phases for the academic year 2016-17 in which around 6.5 lakh candidates are likely to appear.

It had approved the schedule put before it by the Centre, CBSE and the Medical Council of India (MCI) for treating All India Pre-Medical Test (AIPMT) fixed for May 1 as NEET-1.

It had said those who had not applied for AIPMT will be given the opportunity to appear in NEET-II on July 24 and the combined result would be declared on August 17 so that the admission process can be completed by September 30.

A bench comprising Justices A R Dave, Shiva Kirti Singh and A K Goel had pronounced the order yesterday after rejecting the opposition for holding NEET by the states, including Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and Association of Karnataka Medical Colleges, besides minority institutions like CMC, Vellore which had contended that NEET cannot be imposed on them.

The order implied that all government colleges, deemed universities and private medical colleges would be covered under NEET and those examinations which have already taken place or slated to be conducted separately stand scrapped. – PTI

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