New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday quashed the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for admissions into all medical and dental colleges. The apex court ruled that the Medical Council of India cannot conduct a unified examination.
While some members of the medical fraternity welcomed the judgement, others said that the issue of shortage of seats in medical colleges should be addressed along with maintaining the quality of education.
Cardiologist Dr Devi Shetty, who was also the member of the Medical Council of India when NEET was conceptualised, said the intention behind the move was to have a common entrance examination so that students do not need to run around the country. "We did not want a common admission process. The country can not let that happen. The purpose was to reduce the misuse," he said.
He added that there is corruption in admissions in private colleges as there is an acute shortage of medical seats. Private colleges have the right to conduct exams as they invest so much, he said.
Consortium of Medical, Engineering and Dental Colleges of Karnataka CEO S Srikanth said, "What is important is the quality of medical education. The admissions are mostly based on money factor and not the merit factor."
Senior lawyer Harish Salve said there is a need to fix the standard of every university. "Instead of having limitations, why not promote opening of more universities. There are malpractices because of shortage of medical seats," he said.
He also asked, "Why can't India have enough seats so that entire manipulation business comes to an end?"
Senior lawyer Prashant Bhushan said that when it had become clear that private colleges are admitting the students by admitting bribes,then it was open for the MCI to come up with a common entrance test to lay down uniform standard.
There was a mixed reaction among students as some were happy with the verdict while others said NEET was more transparent.
One of the students said now at least there is some clarity regarding what type of examination will be conducted. "But NEET still would have been better as it would have improved the standard of medical education in the country," he said.
Another student was disappointed with the verdict and said, "For four months, we were preparing for NEET, now we have to prepare differently for our exams."