The Medical Council of India (MCI) gives its approval to the joint proposal of the health ministry regarding a unitary ‘ National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET)’ for admission to MBBS and one for post-graduate medical courses across the country. It seems the Modi government is ready to push for a common entrance test for medical colleges after the failure of such a system in 2013.
The move by the Medical Council of India (MCI) to set up the Common Entrance Test has once again highlighted the feasibility of such a test and its impact on students. The MCI has written to the Union Ministry requesting for changes in the Medical Council of India Act, 1956 to allow it to conduct a joint eligibility test and proper execution of the new system. The government is considering to issue an “official order” and that would be sufficient to realize the change.
MCI sources revealed that the said proposal was collectively approved by the General Body Meeting (GBM) and now it was for the central government to take the issue further. Asked about the GBM, Dr Reena Nayyar, secretary in-charge of MCI said, “The proposal was placed before the general body however nothing can be said till the minutes are concluded.”
What can be the benefit?
The most evident benefit of Common Entrance Test would be that medical candidates need to appear in a single entrance examination, and its score would be applicable for admissions to MBBS , BDS and PG Medical courses all over India
The syllabus for the common test is most likely to be based on the NCERT syllabus. The candidates who study in individual State’s Plus Two syllabus may find it somewhat difficult initially, but after the proper implementation of uniform NCERT syllabus across the country, it would be much easier.
According to reliable sources, the health minister J. P. Nadda is considering the proposal seriously this time and is trying his best to make sure that it does not get failed as it happened in 2013. However, a top government source revealed that all movements in this direction are positive.
Both MCI and the central government feel a uniform NCERT syllabus and a joint entrance test would be the most excellent way to benefit students and throw away corruption prevailing in the system.
Back ground History of NEET
The suggestion to have a common entrance test for medical aspirants across the country was formerly initiated in 2009. At that time, Dr Ketan Desai was heading the MCI. In June 2013, the Supreme Court had ruled the MCI’s notification as null and void for holding common entrance examination for MBBS/BDS and post-graduate courses.
The notification was said to be against the Constitution by the three-judge bench, and MCI was not authorized to lay down the procedure for all India common medical entrance tests. The MCI notification was unconstitutional and in violation of Articles 19, 25, 26, 29 and 30 of the Constitution.
The bench further said that the function assigned to the MCI under Sections 10A and 19A (1) of the 1956 Act justifies such a resolution. They have no reluctance in holding that the Medical Council of India is not empowered so as to actually conduct the common test.
The bench also said that those admissions were the constitutional right of an educational institution, and these were meant for laying down standards and maintaining quality in education, and could not be regulated.
It is pertinent to mention that the court’s decision had come on 115 petitions challenging the MCI notification on National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) for admission to MBBS and post-graduate medical courses across the country.