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All-India medical entrance test: State allowed to implead in case

J. Venkatesan

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday permitted the Tamil Nadu government to implead itself in a case relating to the proposal for introduction of a common all-India entrance test for medical courses in the country.

A Bench of Justices R.V. Raveendran and H.L. Gokhale, while allowing Tamil Nadu's application, asked the petitioner to file an application impleading all the States when it was pointed out that they had not been made parties. It directed the matter to be listed for further hearing next week.

In its application, the State opposed the proposed Medical Council of India regulation for conducting a single common entrance test. It sought permission to implead itself in a pending matter in which a submission had been made on behalf of the Centre about the MCI's proposal for amendment of the regulations relating to graduate and postgraduate courses to pave the way for a CET.

The MCI decided to keep the proposal in abeyance following objection from Tamil Nadu.

The application stated that though the State was not a party in the pending matter any order passed by the court in it would seriously prejudice its interests and hence it must be heard before any order was passed approving the amendment and the CET.

It submitted that Tamil Nadu had abolished entrance tests for admissions to professional courses from 2007 and the selection and admissions were being made as per the provisions of the Tamil Nadu Admission in Professional Educational Institutions Act.

The entrance test was abolished on the recommendations of an expert committee, which found that CET was a cumbersome process. “The CET causes mental agony to the students and parents especially from rural areas and the persons hailing from lower strata of society,” it said.

Tamil Nadu said that it was found that rural students were unable to compete with urban students in the CET since there was lack of training for rural students to undertake and face such competitive-level examination.

“The number of institutions and study materials that are available in the urban areas are not available in rural areas and, therefore, students hailing from urban areas always have an edge over rural students.”The application said the proposed MCI regulation for conducting a single entrance test for admission to medical courses would be in contradiction to the State legislation and would affect the policy of the State government. Tamil Nadu also made it clear that if there was any conflict between the basis of selection made by the Centre and the State legislation, the State law would prevail.

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