“First, you notify rules and then you don't want to implement it”

With many States opposing the national-level common entrance test at under-graduate and post graduate levels, the Medical Council of India (MCI) on Friday informed the Supreme Court its decision not to implement it from 2012-13.

A Bench of Justices H.L. Dattu and C.K. Prasad, before whom the MCI filed the affidavit indicating its intention, pulled up counsel for seeking permission to withdraw the CET notification.

Justice Dattu made it clear to the Additional Solicitor-General Harin P. Raval and MCI counsel Amarandra Sharan: “We don't want to be party to any such decision. First, you notify the rules for common entrance tests and then you don't want to implement it.”

When counsel expressed the MCI's inability to hold the CET for 2012-13 and sought permission to hold it from next year due to opposition from certain State governments, Justice Dattu said: “Orders are passed at your convenience. Draft regulations had already been filed. Now you say you will not do it in 2012-13. This court will not be a party to the postponement. You do whatever you want.”

Several States such as Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Assam had opposed the move on various grounds. Maharashtra, Goa and Gujarat had expressed their willingness to join the CET from 2013-14. Andhra Pradesh had sought exemption for two years and shown willingness to join it from 2014. Kerala said it would join the CET on the condition that its reservation policies in admission must be followed.

Assam had said that the provision of minimum marks for entrance examination was not acceptable to it and urged that it be allowed to add grace marks to ensure that adequate numbers of students form the State clear the examination.

West Bengal wanted the Centre not to implement CET since the State was already conducting it. Its Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee had suggested that the State needed to synchronise its syllabus before switching to a CET. She had also urged the Union Health Minister to hold the examination in Bengali should the Centre decide to go ahead with it.

The CETs were for the 15 per cent all-India quota in all State medical colleges and for the rest 85 per cent seats examinations were being conducted by the respective States, municipal authorities or local authorities as the case may be. Currently, the all-India quota is being filled by an entrance test conducted by the CBSE.

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