From Sanjeev Dube
NEW DELHI : On May 13 the worried medical study aspirants got a
major relief from the Supreme Court which vacated stay on the
declaration of National-Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET)
A three-judge bench presided over by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir modified
its December 13 order, which paved the way for announcement of NEET
results -- a test introduced by the Medical Council of India (MCI).
The court order, in effect, implies that all private and government
colleges can announce the results for admissions for the academic year
2013-14. The court will deliver its final verdict on NEET on July 2 or
“The students, who aspire to gain entry to the medical colleges at the
MBBS and BDS and the postgraduate levels, have been caught in a legal
tangle for no fault of theirs and are victims of policy decisions. In
order to safeguard their interests, as also the interest of the
hospitals, we consider it just and equitable to lift the bar imposed by
us on December 13, 2012, for this year’s entrance examinations,” the
“We modify our order of December 13, 2012, and allow the results of the
examinations already conducted to be declared to enable the students to
take advantage of the same for the current year.” The court, however,
said its judgment on the validity of the NEET would be passed in July.
It added: “We are also alive to the fact that it is the postgraduate
students in the medical colleges who take charge of the medical
treatment of patients in the hospitals. Without fresh entrants into the
postgraduate courses, even for a year, the hospitals are likely to be
adversely affected on account of lack of doctors to directly take care
of the patients.”
About 65,000 students can now be admitted to the various postgraduate,
MBBS and BDS (dental) courses across the country. Teaching hospitals,
where PG students make up a large chunk of the junior doctor workforce,
have been spared a possible crisis.
On December 13 last year, the apex court had prohibited the publication
of results of medical admission tests conducted this academic year till
it had decided on a batch of 115 petitions before it.
The case before the court relates to a MCI order of December 2010 relating
to NEET — for postgraduate and undergraduate medical and dental courses.
The order said the NEET would be the sole entrance exam across India and
that the states and private medical colleges cannot have their separate
Many states, private medical colleges and other educational institutions
challenged the MCI move in various courts across the country, arguing it
was an infringement on their rights.
After passing the December 13 order, the apex court transferred to
itself a batch of 115 petitions on the matter on January 15. But it
could not complete the hearing before the court went into summer
vacation on May 13.
If the court later decides in favour of the MCI and scraps the
state-conducted entrance exams, the judgment will only have prospective
effect — this year’s admissions would not be affected.
Bengal and many other states had anyway decided to comply with the MCI
order and did not hold their own medical entrance tests this year, but
some states and private medical colleges did. Bengal students took the
NEET for postgraduate courses in November last year and the NEET for
MBBS courses on May 5.
Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and several associations of private medical
colleges, among others, had filed petitions in their respective High
Courts and obtained an interim stay on NEET applicability to them.
Aggrieved, the MCI filed transfer petitions and these cases stood
transferred to the Supreme Court to avoid multiplicity of proceedings.
CMC, 75 others allowed to hold own entry
By Sanjeev Dube
NEW DELHI: On December 13 the Supreme Court allowed private
religious and linguistic
to hold their own admission tests for medical courses but bluntly
refused to stay the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test for 2013-14.
The bench comprising Chief Justice Altamas Kabir and Justices S SNijjar
and J Chelameswar, however, directed the colleges to withhold the
results till the objection of the consortium of private colleges is
decided by the apex court before January 18.
The bench, in its interim order, allowed Christian Medical College,
Vellore and 75 other petitioner minority medical colleges, who had moved
the apex court on December 10, to conduct their own admission tests to
fill MBBS and MD seats.
Senior advocates K K Venugopal, K Parasaran, Harish Salve, Rajeev Dhawan
and P P Rao pointed out that since NEET was to take place from the next
academic session, the court would serve public interest by staying it
for a year.
However, Medical Council of India counsel, senior advocate Nidesh Gupta,
pointed out that many private and government colleges have already opted
for NEET to select candidates and a stay on it would not serve public
interest. But it was also pointed out that in some states, the high
courts had stayed NEET, allowing state-based medical colleges to have
The court, however, declined to stay NEET while allowing private
to conduct their own tests and posted the petitions for final hearing on
January 14. It said the fate of the individual sate-level tests would be
subject to the final outcome in court.
The petitioner colleges had claimed exemption from NEET on the ground that
they, being either religious or linguistic minority colleges, were
entitled to autonomy in administration of their educational institutions
under Article 30 of the Constitution.
The order came as a big relief for colleges including Christian Medical
College, Vellore who had announced and publicised the date of their
admission tests. Some colleges had even received applications from
admission seekers. With the Supreme Court expected to break for
vacations, the matter would have extended to January. For this reason,
the colleges had urged for an interim order.
The colleges had demanded the apex court to examine the question of law
raised by them as admissions to MBBS/BDS courses would follow by
May-June next year. The apex bench devised a middle path by directing
both the minority colleges and the Centre to hold separate examinations
without disclosing results. The colleges were allowed to notify students
the exam and the pending case in SC in order to clarify that based on
the final outcome of the petitions, the court would decide whether
private minority colleges were bound by NEET result.
Meanwhile a report from Hyderabad said that the officials of the Medical
Education and Higher Education Departments were in favour of waiting
till the Supreme Court conducts the final hearing in the third week of
January before announcing the schedule for EAMCET, as any announcement
at this stage may create more confusion among students.
Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and several associations of private medical
colleges, the Christian Medical College, Vellore, DD Medical College and
DD Hospital, Tamil Nadu, and various individual colleges had filed
petitions in respective High Courts and obtained an interim stay on NEET
Aggrieved, the MCI filed petitions seeking transfer of these cases to
the Supreme Court to avoid multiplicity of proceedings. The Supreme
Court, while staying all further proceedings, issued notice to the
respondent colleges/States/associations seeking their response.
In the interim order passed on the petitions, the Bench said that while
the main pending matters needed to be decided early, “the time taken in
hearing the matters should be utilised in allowing the students to sit
for their examinations which have been already notified. Accordingly,
let all the transferred cases, as well as the writ petitions, be listed
for final hearing and disposal on January 15, 16 and 17, 2013.”
MCI to stay, Human
Resource for Health Bill off
NEW DELHI: Strong Centre-vs-states polarisation has forced the Union
government go slow on the Human Resource for Health Bill 2011 which has
drawn the wrath of three strong political opponents of the ruling UPA
According to indications available here the direct fallout of the
Union-state tiff would be that the scam-tainted Medical Council of India
(MCI) and Dental Council of India (DCI) would get a fresh lease of life.
Though as many as 10 states backed the National Commission for Human
Resources for Health Bill, 2011, stiff opposition from Mamata Banerjee,
Narendra Modi and Jayalalitha sealed the fate of the bills in the
Parliamentary Standing Committee this week which was examining the
Officials representing West Bengal, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu raised
several questions on the rationale of forming the over-arching
regulatory commission for medical education, loaded with “experts”
picked by the Centre.
Barely two months before Trinamool Congress severed ties with the
Congress-led UPA government, the principal secretary of West Bengal
informed the Parliamentary panel that the state was not in favour of
passing the bill in its present form as it proposed shifting
self-regulation of professional bodies to a central and technocratic
“A properly strengthened individual council with a term limit and
definition of the office bearers as public servants in terms of Indian
Penal Code, besides an accountability mechanism in place would suit the
need better than having an over-arching body with gigantic mandate,” he
said in his deposition on July 31.
Besides MCI and DCI, the proposed NCHRH sought to replace Indian Nursing
Council and Pharmacy Council of India with an umbrella organisation.
The apex council would have three constituent bodies to look after
educational standards, enforcement and ethical medical practice.
“The bill attempts to create amechanism so overwhelming that it is
likely to breed delays. The three constituent bodies are purely
nominative in character and there is no democratic element. Since
medical education is a concurrent subject, some representation to the
states is a must in the proposed commission,” said principal secretary
to Gujarat government, in his
statement, which is a part of the Parliament panel’s report.
This would undermine the powers of the state governments and leave them
with no role to play in policy issues, said Tamil Nadu in its
While the Central government sought to eradicate corruption from
professional medical education bodies, the states insisted that
determining term limits and definition of office-bearers and a provision
to remove them in case of blatant corruption or misuse of official power
would have sufficed to cleanse the existing councils.
Rejection of the NCHRH Bill by the House panel and possible revival of
the MCI may figure at the state health ministers’ conference here on
Friday to discuss issues concerning medical education and human
resources versus health.
SC tells medical colleges,
don't offend MCI norms
NEW DELHI : The Supreme Court has warned private medical colleges on
admitting students in blatant defiance admission norms stipulated by the
Medical Council of India (MCI) from time to time.
Issuing this warning, a Bench of Justices A.K. Patnaik and Swatanter
Kumar made it clear that the MCI Regulations must be strictly adhered to
by the medical colleges.
Reiterating directions it had issued in the case of ‘Priya Gupta vs.
State of Chhattisgarh,’ it said the MCI, the Centre, the States and
medical colleges should strictly adhere to the admission schedule
prescribed by the MCI. Any default in compliance with these conditions
or attempt to overreach these directions shall, without fail, invite
The Bench said, “It is difficult and not even advisable to keep some
windows open to meet a particular situation of exception, as it may pose
impediments to the smooth implementation of laws and defeat the very
object of the scheme. These schedules have been prescribed upon serious
consideration by all concerned. They are to be applied stricto sensu and
cannot be moulded to suit the convenience of some economic or other
interest of any institution, especially, in a manner that is bound to
result in compromise of the principles.”
The Bench reiterated the following directions: commencement of new
courses or increases in seats of existing courses of MBBS/BDS are to be
approved/recognised by the Government of India by July 15 of each
calendar year for the relevant academic sessions of that year.
The MCI shall, immediately thereafter, issue appropriate directions and
ensure the implementation and commencement of admission process within
one week thereafter; After July 15 of each year, neither the Union of
India nor the Medical or Dental Council of India shall issue any
recognition or approval for the current academic year. If any such
approval is granted after July 15 of any year, it shall only be
operative for the next academic year and not in the current academic
The Bench said: “Any medical or dental college, or seats thereof, to
which the recognition/approval is issued subsequent to July 15 of the
respective year, shall not be included in the counselling to be
conducted by the concerned authority and that college would have no
right to make admissions in the current academic year against such
seats; The admission to the medical or dental colleges shall be granted
only through the respective entrance tests conducted by the competitive
authority in the State or the body of the private colleges. These two
are the methods of selection and grant of admission to these courses.
However, where there is a single Board conducting the State examination
and there is a single medical college, then in terms of clause 5.1 of
the MCI Eligibility Certificate Regulations, 2002 the admission can be
given on the basis of 10+2 exam marks, strictly in order of merit.”
The Bench was dealing with appeals relating to admissions made by
Geetanjali Medical College and Hospital in Rajasthan for the year
2008-2009 and Mahatma Gandhi Medical College and Hospital in the same
State. Geetanjali College got permission from the Union government on
September 16 and it admitted 117 students, 101 on the basis of 10 + 2
marks and 16 on the basis of common entrance test conducted by the
State. The Rajasthan High Court set aside the admissions on the ground
that the admissions were made in violation of MCI Regulations. Similar
allegation was made against the Mahatma Gandhi College in respect of
admissions of six students.
Disposing of the appeals, the Bench directed that none of the 117
students who were otherwise eligible for admission to the MBBS course
would be disturbed from pursuing their MBBS course.
The Bench, however, directed the students to pay Rs. 3 lakh each to the
State government within three months. It said: “In the event of default,
the students will not be permitted to take the final year examination
and the admission of the defaulting students shall stand cancelled and
the College will have no liability to repay the admission fee already
paid. The amount so paid to the State government shall be spent by it
for improvement of infrastructure and laboratories of the government
medical college.” The Bench gave a similar direction in respect of six
students admitted to the Mahatama Gandhi Medical College and Hospital.
SC whips MCI, scraps all
ill taken medical seats
NEW DELHI : In a sweeping judgement on July 4 the Supreme Court not
only invalidated the unauthorised MBBS seats annexed by some medical
education institutions but went to the extent of ruling that the Medical
Council of India is not competent to grant approval to medical courses.
The Apex Court said that the students admitted to MBBS courses by medical
colleges by increasing their intake without prior sanction from the
Centre would not be permitted to practice medicine as their degrees
would not be recognized.
“Where any medical college increases its admission capacity in any
course of study or training, except with the previous permission of the
accordance with provisions of Section 10A, no medical qualification
granted to student of such medical college on the basis of the increase
in its admission
capacity shall be a recognized medical qualification for the purposes of
the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956,” the apex court ruled.
Accepting arguments of senior advocate Nidesh Gupta on behalf of the
Medical Council of India (MCI), which protested the Allahabad high
court’s decision to
increase intake of three medical colleges from 100 to 150, a two-judge
bench set aside the increase.
The three institutes which had opposed MCI’s appeal were: School of
Medical Science and Research, Sharda Education Trust; Rama Medical
College Hospital and
Research Centreand , Kanpur and Tirthankar Mahaveer Institute of
Management and Technology.
The SC said the permission granted to run MBBS courses under the act
envisaged it to be renewed on a yearly basis till the college completed
four years of
the graduation course. Only on getting permission for the fifth year
could it be said that the medical college had been recognized by the
MCI, it clarified
and added that only after conducting five years of MBBS course is a
college entitled to seek nod for offering postgraduation courses.