D.D. Medical and Educational Trust wants impleaded to back Tamil Nadu's stand

The Supreme Court on Friday issued notice to all the States on an application filed by the Medical Council of India on its proposal to introduce a common nationwide eligibility-cum-entrance test for MBBS and postgraduate medical courses from 2011-12.

A Bench of Justices R.V. Raveendran and H.L. Gokhale issued notice, seeking the response of the States in four weeks, and directed the matter to be listed thereafter.

The Bench had already allowed Tamil Nadu's application against the move.

On Friday, D.D. Medical and Educational Trust, represented by its chairman and managing trustee T.D. Naidu, filed an application for being impleaded in the case in support of Tamil Nadu's stand against a CET both for undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

Appearing for the MCI, senior counsel Amarendra Saran said there would be a national eligibility-cum-entrance test for all medical colleges. When Justice Raveendran wanted to know whether it would include private medical colleges too, Mr. Saran replied: “All medical colleges, including private and minority colleges.” The move was to avoid the multiplicity of the tests — at present, students had to take 10 to 15 tests across the country — and it would benefit the students.

Justice Raveendran asked: “How can you interfere with the domicile rights of the States and the rights of private institutions to have their own CETs?” Mr. Saran said: “This will prevent private institutions from manipulating the admission [process], and malpractices and irregularities in admissions.”

Justice Raveendran said: “Your intention may be noble, but private colleges also have to be heard before we pass any order.”

Justice Gokhale took exception to students writing letters directly to Justice Raveendran. “This must stop,” Justice Raveendran told Mr. Saran.

Senior counsel Ashok Desai, appearing for Tamil Nadu, said the State had already enacted a law abolishing the CET, and the present proposal would affect its students.

Counsel A.D.N. Rao, appearing for the main petitioners Simran Jain and others, said 13 to 14 States had already opposed the move to have a CET. He, however, said the common test would help the students.

In its application, the DDME Trust, which runs the D.D. Medical College and D.D. Hospital near Thiruvallur, said Tamil Nadu had abolished entrance tests for admission to professional courses in 2007, and the selection and admission were being made under the provisions of the Tamil Nadu Admission in Professional Educational Institutions Act. The entrance test was abolished on the recommendations of an expert committee, which found that the CET was a cumbersome process. “The CET causes mental agony to students and parents, especially from rural areas and the persons hailing from the lower strata of society.”

The application said the proposed MCI regulation for conducting a single entrance test for admission to medical courses would be in contradiction of the State legislation and would affect the State government's policy, and it was vitally interested in the matter.

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