They are contrary to the autonomy granted by the apex court to unaided institutions

The Karnataka High Court on Friday stayed the notifications issued by the Dental Council of India (DCI) proposing to conduct a single National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) to select candidates for both undergraduate and postgraduate courses in all types of dental colleges across the country.

Justice A.S. Bopanna passed the interim order on the petitions filed by the Karnataka Private Medical and Dental Colleges’ Association and JSS University, a deemed university, challenging the notifications issued by the DCI on May 31, 2012.

Pointing out that there were many shortcomings in the notifications that would jeopardise the careers of lakhs of students all over India if not addressed, the association also contended that the curriculum followed in Classes 11 and 12 in all the States was different from the curriculum proposed for the NEET exam. “This has created tremendous confusion in the minds of the students as the teachers are not trained to teach the proposed syllabus,” it has been stated in the petitions.

It said that the DCI issued the notifications under the power granted to it, but such a power could not override the prevailing process of admission to dental courses in Karnataka under the provisions of the legislative enactment.

It has been claimed in the petitions that the notifications contemplating NEET were issued without providing any opportunity to the petitioners, as well as the Karnataka government, to be heard.

Stating that issue of notifications was contrary to various verdicts of the Supreme Court, the association said that the notifications were contrary to the autonomy granted by the apex court to unaided institutions offering professional courses to adopt a fair, transparent and non-exploitive admission process based on merit.

The notifications issued by the DCI also interfered with the autonomy of the deemed universities, which were granted greater autonomy in the admissions process, the petitions stated.