MCI norms for CET NEET all-India med entrance test stayed by Maharashtra High Court : from http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/pune/HC-stays-MCI-norms-for-all-India-med-entrance-test/articleshow/11038536.cms
AURANGABAD/PUNE: The Medical Council of India’s (MCI) amended regulations for under-graduate medical education, which provides for the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET), won’t be implemented in Maharashtra for at least six weeks now.
On Thursday, the Aurangabad bench of the Bombay high court granted an interim stay on the implementation of these regulations in Maharashtra till the final disposal of a petition, filed by some students and guardians from Latur, challenging the NEET. The MCI regulations were notified in the gazette of India on December 21, 2010.
Granting the interim relief, the HC division bench of Justices B R Gavai and M T Joshi also directed notices to the Union government, the MCI, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and the state director of medical education and research (DMER), seeking their written submissions on the matter within six weeks. The court has since posted the matter for its next hearing on January 20, 2012 when the six-week period is over.
Last month, the MCI finalized the NEET-UG syllabus, which has been jointly prepared by the CBSE, the National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT) and the Council of Boards of School Education in India (COBSE). The MCI conveyed its exam plan to the Supreme Court, declaring May 13, 2012 as the date for the maiden NEET-UG, and also forwarded it to the Union ministry of health and family welfare for a final approval and notification of the exam scheme.
However, the NEET-UG plan drew protests from several states including West Bengal, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Maharashtra on various grounds. On November 23, Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan wrote to Union health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad urging that students from the state be exempted from the NEET-UG planned for May 2012. Chavan cited reasons like mismatch in the syllabus for NEET-UG and the one being taught to Std XII students in Maharashtra and the absence of a provision to write the exam in Marathi and Urdu.
Prior to Chavan’s letter, the state had filed a special leave petition in the Supreme Court challenging the NEET. However, it withdrew the petition after the apex court suggested that the state should move the high court to seek relief, as has been done by some other states like Tamil Nadu. The state government is yet to file a petition in the Bombay high court.
In this context, the Aurangabad bench’s interim stay on Thursday comes as a major relief for the medical aspirants, who were caught between studying for Std XII and the NEET-UG syllabus. Senior advocate R N Dhorde, appearing for petitioner Umesh Kulkarni and others, submitted that the NEET-UG is primarily based on Std XI and XII CBSE syllabus for physics, chemistry and biology. The MCI finalized the syllabus in the second week of November 2011.
Dhorde submitted that Std XII students in Maharashtra are already preparing for the state board’s HSC (Std XII) examination scheduled for February/March 2012. It was, therefore, not possible to prepare for the NEET-UG as the period of five months was very short and there were almost three-four entrance exams required to be given for seeking admission to other professional courses including engineering, he said.
Dhorde also submitted that particular books for the NEET-UG were not available. If the NEET-UG was conducted from May 2012, students from Maharashtra would have no chance of preparing for the exam and securing good ranks in the entrance examination compared to their CBSE counterparts. “It would be beyond their capacity to study the syllabus of two years within a short span. Students from Maharashtra will not get admissions to the MBBS course in the state itself,” he submitted.
When contacted, DMER Praveen Shingare said, “We are still awaiting the Union health ministry’s response to the CM’s letter and are quite hopeful that the ministry will respond positively to the CM’s plea. If this does not happens, then the government will have to think about the available legal options.” Shingare said, “The state advocate general has already readied the petition, which the state has to file in the high court. However, we held up the plan to submit the petition after the CM’s intervention. Six weeks is enough time for us to get a clear picture from the health ministry.”
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