SC seeks GoI’s views against NEET by J&K, others

SC seeks GoI’s views against NEET by J&K, others  
‘Only permanent citizens would be eligible if NEET is implemented in Jammu and Kashmir’
Asif Iqbal
Srinagar, May 5: The permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir would be eligible for admission to different professional courses in the State if NEET was implemented, apex court said today.
A bench of the apex court headed by Justice Anil R Dave made the observation after senior advocate Vikas Singh, representing Medical Council of India (MCI), submitted that if NEET is implemented in the state this year, even then, only state subjects or permanent residents, shall be entitled for admissions and not students from outside the state.
In his arguments, former Attorney General of India Gopal Subramanium, representing the J&K, referred to Article 370 of the constitution of India which grants special status to state and submitted as far as the J&K was concerned, 42nd amendment was not extended to the state as such “education” still falls under the state list for J&K and the state has exclusive power to regulate education.
The bench also comprising justices Shiva Kirti Singh and Adarsh Kumar Goel subsequently sought views of the government of India and the CBSE against the NEET.
Meanwhile, the apex court said that unaided private medical colleges across the country cannot be permitted to go ahead with their pre-scheduled tests for admissions to MBBS and BDS courses in addition to the recently revived single-window entrance NEET.  “There is no question of allowing any exam by private institutions,” the bench said when some lawyers sought clarification on the fate of the entrance tests which have either been conducted or about to be held by the private colleges.
In another key development, the bench asked Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar to take instruction from the GoI on feasibility of allowing some states, which have already conducted their separate entrance tests, to continue with the admission process for the current academic session.
The bench also asked Kumar to apprise it as to whether all the students, who appeared in All India Pre-Medical/Pre-Dental Test (AIPMT) which later became NEET on May 1, can be allowed to re-appear on NEET-II to be held on July 24.
The bench said the students, who focused on state tests believing that they had better chances of being selected and did not seriously prepare for AIPMT despite filling up the forms, should be allowed to re-appear in NEET-II.
“I cannot say it is impossible, but it would be very difficult,” Additional Solicitor General Pinky Anand, appearing for CBSE, said and referred to the fact that over 6 lakh students appeared in NEET-I.
Senior advocate Vikas Singh, who represents MCI, suggested that the students cannot avail two opportunities in one examination and those, who take up tests twice, will have to forgo the ranking obtained in one of the two tests results.
States like Gujarat and Maharashtra said the students who prepare for the state entrance tests in vernacular languages like Gujarati and Marathi would be at “disadvantage” if they are suddenly asked to take up the NEET in view of the fact that the state tests are now invalid.