January 08, 2012

Health Ministry to move SC on CET

The Medical Council of India (MCI) and the CBSE may be gearing up to hold the Common Entrance Test (CET) for MBBS aspirants from May 2012, but the Health Ministry has some different plans. It is all set to approach the Supreme Court seeking permission to defer CET by an year, to the 2013-14 academic session.

Sources told that the Ministry will soon submit an affidavit to seek postponement of the CET, which is also known as National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET), citing objections from States like Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra — where majority of medical colleges exist.

“These States have been pointing out their difficulty in holding the examination next year stating that students will face problem. They feel that the MCI should go slow on administering CET to avoid inconvenience to the students,” senior officials from the Health Ministry confirmed.

They are not against the CET per se. But they want that the test be conducted from academic session 2013-2014 after framing a common curriculum for physics, biology and chemistry for standards XI and XII, the officials noted.

In case the Supreme Court considers the Ministry’s request, this will be the second time that the CET will be deferred.

The MCI, following the apex court order, has been preparing for the CET since 2011. But it was postponed to 2012 as the Council wanted to give enough time to the students to prepare for the exam.

But while the MCI has been keen to introduce the new system claiming that it would cut down multiplicity of examination, the Health Ministry has been dilly-dallying the matter citing various reasons, opposition from the States being the major one.

The Ministry’s disinterest in CET is no secret. It is yet to notify the revised syllabus and the examination system prepared by MCI for medical under graduates. Irked at the delay, the CBSE too had recently shot off a letter to the Ministry to notify the examination system so that it could smoothly ensure all logistics in place for the D-day.

Over eight lakh students take the MBBS examinations for over 330 medical colleges across the country.

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