amar ujala newspaper 21/07/2016

No extra marks for medical aspirants, state CET won’t cover private seats, says Bombay high court

In a partial setback for a section of medical aspirants, the Bombay high court on Tuesday rejected a plea that the state’s common entrance test (CET) for MBBS admissions should cover private unaided colleges too, not just government-run colleges. The HC also set aside government’s decision to grant additional marks in the medical CET to students under various quotas, including sports, national cadet corp (NCC) and children of freedom fighters, from this academic year.

The order means that students seeking admission to private medical colleges will now have to compete through National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET). Students pinning their hopes on a “positive outcome” were disappointed with the order. NEET Phase-II will be held on July 24.

With this directive, the Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER) can finally commence admissions to state’s medical colleges, starting Wednesday. The petition had delayed the admission process by two weeks.
Earlier, the Supreme Court had held that NEET should be conducted for all medical and dental college admissions, but a Centre’s ordinance exempted the states from NEET and allowed them to conduct their own CETs for a year if they ch-oose to. Maharashtra chose to.

A bench of Justice S C Dh-armadhikari and Justice Shal-ini Phansalkar Joshi, that passed the order on Tuesday on a petition filed by students, disapproved of the state holding its own CET for medical admissions to government colleges for 2016-17 and did not want to expand it by including private colleges too.

To an argument by students’ counsel Mihir Desai that the curricula for both these exams were different and that NEET meant competition on a larger plane for students, the bench said, “there is nothing wrong with there being more competition”. “Best students will become doctors,” said Justice Dharmadhikari.

The state, after receiving an opinion of the acting advocate general, Rohit Deo, that grant of additional weightage under sports and other quotas was “unconstitutional”, also decided to withdraw it but fr-om the next academic year. The HC, however, said the withdrawal must be effective immediately. Under the quota, two marks are to be added under each category to the final CET score of a student. If a student fell under two categories, say sports and NCC, she or he would get four additional marks. Such grace marks were unfair, was the challenge.

amar ujala newspaper 21/07/2016 :