The Supreme Court on Saturday refused to press the pause button on the first phase of the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) for medical and dental admissions scheduled for May 1.
A three-judge Bench led by Chief Justice of India T.S. Thakur, refused to entertain a last-minute attempt to modify the court's April 28 order to have NEET in two phases on May 1 and July 24.
The Bench, convened for a special hearing on the ban on diesel vehicles in Delhi, was addressed by lawyers, claiming to represent students, who, pleaded that it would be unfair to impose NEET at this late hour when students have had very little preparation time.
The Bench, convened for a special hearing of the diesel vehicles ban in Delhi, was addressed by some lawyers, who said they were representing students who were already bogged down by the busy schedule of medical entrance tests going on in several States. They pleaded that it would be unfair to impose NEET on these students at this late hour when they have had very little preparation time.
But the court declined to hear them, merely asking them to file appropriate applications before the Bench concerned with the NEET case.
A five-judge Bench, led by Justice Anil R. Dave, is scheduled to begin hearing the challenge on the constitutional validity of NEET on May 3. The apex court had recently recalled its 2013 quashing NEET, saying it was hastily done and required a fresh look.
On April, acting on a writ petition, a three-judge Bench led by Justice Dave agreed to the government's schedule for holding NEET in this academic session itself.
Chief Justice Thakur said the decision on NEET has already been taken by the appropriate Bench after hearing the parties on April 28. “Please allow the examination to be conducted,” the Chief Justice told the lawyers.
The first phase of NEET on May 1 replaces the All India Pre-medical/Pre-dental Entrance Test (AIPMT). Over 6.67 lakh students are expected to appear from 1040 centres in 52 cities, including abroad, in this phase alone. NEET would cover a total
NEET's take-over from AIPMT in the first phase was calculated to protect the interests of students who have already left their homes for the exams and are fully prepared to face it.
Work on the second phase of NEET would start from May 7 and is meant to include the remaining candidates who were unable to appear in the first phase. NEET-2 exams would be held on July 24 and the combined results of both phases would be published on August 17.
Counselling sessions would be held for 45 days between August 17 and September 30. The entire admission process would be concluded by September 30.