Decision of the Supreme Court on ordinance
After stripping States of their authority to conduct undergraduate medical and dental entrance exams and compelling them to accept the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), the Supreme Court on Friday refrained from staying a government ordinance diluting its judicial order.
Basis of Decision of Supreme Court
Despite pleas that the ordinance challenged the very authority of the highest judiciary, the apex court refused any immediate intervention. It argued that this would only confuse students and divert their attention from studies.
What was there in Ordinance?
The ordinance, which received Presidential assent on May 24, partially eclipses the May 9 order of the Supreme Court by allowing State governments to conduct their own entrance exams alongside the NEET for this academic session alone.
The ordinance came after the apex court categorically declared that the NEET, a single window exam meant to end corruption and the ‘donation’ culture in medical admissions, is the only way to gain admission to the MBBS and the BDS courses across the country.
What was the reason behind ordinance?
Several States had tried hard to convince the apex court that making the NEET the sole gateway to medical and dental studies was nothing short of interference in their prerogative to hold separate tests.
State governments like Gujarat had submitted that it would be “torture” to impose the NEET on students mentally prepared for State entrance exams.
Tamil Nadu had highlighted the harshness of suddenly exposing their students to the highly competitive NEET, especially when the State had had no entrance exams since 2007.
States like Jammu and Kashmir, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana had invoked special provisions in the Constitution to extend their common contention that States have the sole legislative competence to conduct exams for the MBBS and the BDS courses.