SC gives nod to single common test for medical courses

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday cleared the deck for the Centre and the Medical Council of India (MCI) to hold a single eligibility-cum-entrance examination for MBBS and post-graduate medical courses in the country from this academic session.

A bench of justices R V Raveendran and A K Patnaik passed the order which will also be applicable for private medical colleges in the country.

The Bench noted that since the decision in this regard has already been notified, the MCI and the Centre can go ahead for holding the Common Entrance Test (CET).

Senior advocate Amrender Sharan and Somesh Jha, appearing for the MCI, drew the attention of the Bench that the Centre on August 13 last year had taken the stand that MCI can go ahead with the implementation of the single entrance criteria and in December the regulations were notified.

The MCI had sought the court`s permission to hold a single common entrance test for graduate and post-graduate medical courses, including those for the private and even minority medical colleges last October.

On February 18, the Centre had told the Supreme Court that it was in consultation with the state governments to resolve the differences on the issue.

The Centre came out with the notification in December last for holding the combined entrance test for MBBS and PG courses.

Though the court, in an interim order on December 18 last year, had allowed the MCI to go ahead with the CET, it had decided to hear the various stakeholders as state governments, private medical colleges and those run by the minorities might have some objections.

"We make it clear that the pendency of the application shall not come in the way of the MCI notifying any regulations framed by it, in accordance with law, nor come in the way of anyone challenging the validity of such regulations, if and when brought into effect in accordance with law," the bench had said.

The bench, during the earlier hearing, had said there were certain minority institutions like Christian Medical College which conducts its own entrance test.

The bench had favoured a cautious approach on the issue, saying the students are a "volatile" community.