SC makes J&K fall in line with NEET

SC makes J&K fall in line with NEET

But says only state subjects eligible for seats in JK colleges

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir will not be allowed to hold its own undergraduate medical and dental entrance exams under state laws as Supreme Court on Monday made it fall in line with National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET).
However, non-state subject candidates cannot apply for seats in J&K professional medical and dental colleges.
“Prima facie, we do not find any infirmity in the NEET regulation on the ground that it affects the rights of the states or the private institutions. Special provisions for reservation of any category are not subject matter of the NEET nor rights of minority are in any manner affected by NEET. NEET only provides for conducting entrance test for eligibility for admission to the MBBS/BDS course,” a three-member bench headed by justice Anil R. Dave said in a significant order, rejecting pleas of state governments including Jammu and Kashmir and minority institutions to allow them to hold separate entrance exams for MBBS and BDS courses for the academic year 2016-17.
“We thus, do not find any merit in the applications seeking modification of order dated 28th April, 2016.
Only other contention relates to perceived hardship to the students who have either applied for NEET-I but could not appear or who appeared but could not prepare fully thinking that the preparation was to be only for 15% All India seats and there will be further opportunity to appear in other examinations. To allay any such apprehension, we direct that all such eligible candidates who could not appear in NEET-I and those who had appeared but have apprehension that they had not prepared well, be permitted to appear in NEET-II, subject to seeking an option from the candidates to give up their candidature for NEET-I,” said the Bench, also comprising Justices Shiva Kirti Singh and AK Goel.
It also said that it “would be open to the respondents (Government of India, CBSE) to reschedule the date of holding NEET-II, if necessary. To this extent the earlier orders stand modified.
“We may also add here that to ensure total credibility of the examination to be held by the CBSE, the Oversight Committee appointed by this court vide the aforesaid judgment dated May 2, 2016 shall also oversee the NEET-II examination to be conducted by the CBSE. In view of the above, it is also clarified that only NEET would enable students to get admission to MBBS or BDS studies,” it said.
The Bench on Thursday last had observed: “State subject law will be respected and only permanent residents of the State of Jammu and Kashmir shall be eligible for admission to Medical Colleges in Jammu and Kashmir”.
Further, the bench had said, the reservations shall be as per the State Reservation Act and Women would continue to get 50% reservation as provided under the State Act besides reservation for other reserved categories.
The bench’s observations had followed submissions by former Attorney General of India Gopal Subramanium, representing the J&K.
Subramanium referred to Article 370 of the constitution of India which grants special status to state and submitted that as far as the J&K was concerned, 42nd amendment was not extended to the state as such “education” still falls under the state list for J&K and the state has exclusive power to regulate the education.
State Common Entrance Test (CET) was scheduled to be held by J&K Board of Professional Entrance Examination (JKBOPEE) on May 14 and 15.