Health Ministry opposes common medical exam

New Delhi: The Union Health Ministry has opposed the proposal by the Medical Council of India to conduct a combined enterance exam for private and government medical institutes. Health Ministry says it is not possible to conduct common entrance tests for private and government institutes.

The Supreme Court had on October 22 sought responses within four weeks from the Centre and all states and union territories on the plea by Medical Council of India seeking to start single eligibility-cum-entrance examination for MBBS and post-graduate medical courses in the country.A Bench comprising Justices RV Raveendran and HS Gokhale had issued notices to the Centre and all state governments and union territories.

The court's order came after MCI filed an application seeking impleadment of all states and union territories as parties to the writ petition seeking a common entrance examination for admission to MBBS and post—graduate medical courses.However, the Bench said before passing any direction, it has to hear various stakeholder as state governments, private medical colleges and those run by the minorities may have some objections.

The Bench began by asking the MCI counsel and senior advocate Amrender Sharan as to "who is going to conduct the examination", to which he said CBSE has been authorised for the purpose.He said the candidates will be given a national as well as state ranks and 50 per cent of the seats would be for general candidates while 40 per cent will be reserved for quota candidates who will be given rank separately.At this point, the Bench wanted to know about the candidates for the states.

Senior advocate Ashok Desai, who was appearing for Tamil Nadu, said it already has a common entrance test for colleges in the state.The Bench also wanted to know from MCI as to "how can it deride the rights of the private medical university to hold entrance examination".Further, the Bench said there are certain minority institutions like Christian Medical College which conducts its entrance by itself."What is the hurry," the Bench said and permitted MCI to implead states as party to the petition.
"Your intention may be noble but we have to hear all parties including private colleges," the Bench said adding the CMC and other minority institutions have been holding their entrance tests for the last 50 years.During the last hearing on September 17, the Centre had told the bench that it had approved the proposal of MCI for amendment of regulations relating to a common entrance test for medical courses.
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