Centre mulls separate entrance exams for premier institutions

Centre mulls separate entrance exams for premier institutions
 At a time when the Supreme Court has ruled that the a single entrance examination would be implemented throughout the country, the Centre is planning to seek special status for some of its premier institutions like the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), the Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education & Research (JIPMER) and Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education & Research (PGIMER) Chandigarh allowing them to hold their separate entrance examinations. 

The Centre will urge the Supreme Court to keep the three premier institutions out of the ambit of the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) which is likely to be introduced from this year, as per the order of the three judges’ bench of the Supreme Court.
According to the court order the NEET should be implemented from this year and thereby scrapping all the state-level medical joint entrance examinations. 

But the Centre is trying to give some special status to these institutions so that they can hold their own entrance examinations separately from the NEET and admit candidates according to their own choice. 

In a high-level meeting held in Delhi between the Union health minister and the health ministers from various states on Monday, the central government had expressed its desire to have a special status for these three Centre-owned institutions by which they can hold their own medical entrance examinations. 

It was learnt that the Centre had tried to convince the health ministers and senior health officials from various states participated on Monday’s meeting to take them in confidence before submitting its plea before the Supreme Court. 

The main purpose of Monday’s meeting was to discuss if it was possible to conduct NEET this year. 
Both the Centre and state governments unanimously arrived in a conclusion that the NEET could not be implemented this year due to various reasons and decided to appeal to the Supreme Court for yet another time. 

Though, it may also be mentioned that it was the Centre who was trying to implement single-level medical entrance throughout the country.
Many have raised questions as what is the point of taking separate examinations for the admission of undergraduate medical candidates at the AIIMS and JIPMER where NEET, a single entrance is going to be implemented in the country. 

How the Centre can seek special provisions for these institutions? Is it because the standard of education in these institutions is far better than others in the country or the Centre is directly trying to control the institutions. The question is doing a round in the mind of a section of doctors here. Some have also pointed out that other institutions or the states can seek a special status for their institutions. 

In 2013, when the NEET was implemented throughout the country for the admission of undergraduate medical students to various colleges, Jammu and Kashmir and Andhra Pradesh held their separate examinations by the virtue of their special power under article 370 and article 371(D) of Indian Constitution respectively. 

AIIMS and JIPMER did not admit candidates through NEET in 2013. Instead they had conducted their own entrance examinations. 

AIIMS and JIPMER are the institutions where both the undergraduate and postgraduate medical courses are taught while the PGIMER Chandigarh only offers postgraduate medical courses. Some have raised questions that do these institutions enjoy any special power given by the constitutions?

Pradip Chatterjee

Pradip Chatterjee

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