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Health Minister Azad Justifies Need For NEET

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Health Minister Azad Justifies Need For NEET In Letter To PMIn a letter to Prime Minister, Ghulam Nabi Azad, the Health Minister, has justified the need for retaining nationwide common entrance test for undergraduate and post-graduate medical courses. The controversial National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) was quashed by a bench of Supreme Court in division of 2-1 judgement on July 18 this year.

Azad has said that students seeking admission in graduate and post-graduate level medical courses and their parents had to suffer from mental, physical and financial hardships under the admission scheme followed until last year when NEET was introduced. Multiple entrance examinations conducted by various agencies have given rise to differential standards for admission to MBBS/BDS and PG courses compromising the merit component.

He further said that NEET was introduced by the Health Ministry for creating a more robust environment for admissions to medical and dental courses across the country by this single window entrance test and that it would be in larger interest of society and also the students aspiring to study medicine. Moreover, according to him, as mentioned in his letter, no reservation policy followed by minority institutions or state governments has been affected by NEET based admission criteria.

In a dissenting judgement, one of the three Supreme Court judges of the bench, Justice A R Dave had upheld the Medical Council of India’s (MCI) decision to conduct NEET and termed it as “legal, practical and need of the society”; taking support of which Health Ministry has decided to file a review petition and has also sought the advice of the department of Legal Affairs in the matter.

This letter by Azad came after the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa wrote to Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh voicing objections against Centre’s decision to file a petition in Supreme Court seeking review of the verdict against NEET.

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