The Supreme Court on Monday directed the central government to hold a single eligibility-cum-entrance examination for MBBS and post-graduate medical courses in the country from this academic session.

A bench of justices R.V. Raveendran and A.K. Patnaik passed the order, saying that it will also be applicable for the private medical colleges in the country.

The bench asked the government to hold the single common entrance test on a plea by Medical Council of India seeking to start a single eligibility-cum-entrance examination for MBBS and post-graduate medical courses in the country.

The MCI had sought the court’s permission to hold a single common entrance test for graduate and post-graduate medical courses, including those for the private and even minority medical colleges last October.

On February 18, the Centre had told the Supreme Court that it was in consultation with the state governments to resolve the differences on the issue.

The Centre came out with the notification in December last for holding the combined entrance test for MBBS and PG courses.

Though the court, in an interim order on December 18 last year, had allowed the MCI to go ahead with the CET, it had decided to hear the various stakeholders as state governments, private medical colleges and those run by the minorities might have some objections.

“We make it clear that the pendency of the application shall not come in the way of the MCI notifying any regulations framed by it, in accordance with law, nor come in the way of anyone challenging the validity of such regulations, if and when brought into effect in accordance with law,” the bench had said.

The bench, during the earlier hearing, had said there were certain minority institutions like Christian Medical College which conducts its own entrance test.

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