Tamil Nadu

Health Ministry avoids answering MPs’ queries on NEET

Citing court rulings, Union Minister Harsh Vardhan says the test is compulsory

The Union Health Minister recently avoided giving specific answers to a set of starred questions from DMK Lok Sabha MPs on the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET), and instead relied on court rulings to state that aspirants had to compulsorily take the test for securing admission to medical courses.

On Thursday, T.R. Baalu and M. Selvaraj sought to confirm whether only 100 students secured admissions to the MBBS course through NEET without attending any private coaching classes, out of the 4,850 seats in government and self-financing colleges in Tamil Nadu during the current academic year.

The MPs sought to know whether the Central government had received any request from the States/Union Territories, including Tamil Nadu, seeking exemption from NEET for admission to the MBBS course; whether the government was aware of the observation of the Madras High Court that NEET should be scrapped as it was unfair to government school students; whether the government proposed to scrap NEET or give an exemption from the test to Tamil Nadu and other such applicant States/UTs in the interest of the poor and rural students and to help them get admission; and if so, the details thereof and the action taken thereon.

In his reply, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said: “Section 10D of the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956, prescribes the conducting of a uniform entrance examination, namely the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET), to all medical educational institutions at undergraduate and postgraduate level(s). The NEET is followed by a common counselling, conducted by the Directorate General of Health Services and the designated authorities of the State governments for admission to the respective quota seats. However, no data with regard to admissions of the students made [sic] with or without taking private coaching classes is maintained centrally.”

The Ministry had received requests from T.N. and Puducherry to exempt students from having to appear for NEET. “The proposals were in direct contravention of Section 10D of the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956, and thus, the same were not supported by the Ministry.”

SC order

Further, the Madras High Court had not recorded any observation for the scrapping of NEET, the Minister said.

He also cited the Supreme Court order dated April 11, 2016, stating, “...in R.P. 2159-2268 of 2013 in T.C. (c) 98 of 2013 had allowed conducting of NEET and the apex court vide order dated 09.05.2016 also clarified that only NEET would enable students to get admission to MBBS or BDS studies.”

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Printable version | Feb 29, 2020 7:37:32 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/health-ministry-avoids-answering-mps-queries-on-neet/article30314487.ece

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