NEET 2017: Supreme Court, Delhi, Gujarat, Bombay HCs hear new cases, latest answer key release and other updates
Somesh S Menon, 07 Jul 2017, #NEET
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The National Eligibility cum Entrance Test was conducted on May 7, 2017. The All India level medical entrance exam, organized by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), saw more than 11 lakh candidates appear for admissions to approximately 90,000 MBBS and BDS seats in medical and dental colleges across the country. Given the large numbers involved, it wouldn’t be inaccurate to claim that the exam wasn’t held as smoothly as it could have been, despite the CBSE making all attempts to claim otherwise.


After a prolonged delay, the NEET 2017 Results were finally declared on June 23 with Navdeep Singh of Punjab emerging as the topper by securing 697 marks out of 720. Soon after, counselling details for 15% All India Quota seats and 85% State Quota seats were released by the Medical Counselling Committee (MCC) and individual state agencies respectively. Despite the NEET 2017 journey almost coming to an end with only the counselling process remaining, the exam continues to remain in the headlines with new legal tussles being reported from various parts of the country and the CBSE continuing its ingenious policy of refraining from communicating with candidates about any NEET related topic. Various state governments have also had their NEET based policies questioned by irate students, and it doesn’t seem like the controversies surrounding the landmark medical entrance are about to die down any time soon.


For the benefit of all candidates, Careers360 presents a brief overview of essential NEET related topics which have captured headlines over the past few days.


Supreme Court permits MCI to extend NEET Counselling date, asks High Courts not to interfere in admission processes


In a hearing held on July 5, Justices Dipak Misra and N.V. Ramana allowed the Medical Council of India (MCI) to extend the dates of counselling for NEET 2017 until August 28 for MBBS courses and September 10 for BDS courses. The extension was sought by the MCI on the basis that the declaration of NEET Results had been delayed by the Madras High Court’s stay order and thus the counselling process could only start from July 3 onwards. This meant that the admission process for NEET 2017 could not possibly be completed by August 1, as had been mandated by the apex court in a 2016 order, and hence their permission to extend the counselling dates was needed. The Supreme Court, while taking a sympathetic view of the MCI’s plea, also directed the various High Courts to stop accepting petitions which could possibly infringe upon the NEET admission process.


Supreme Court asks TN Government to respond to petition challenging reservations in medical admissions; asks Petitioner to approach Madras HC


On July 7, a SC Bench comprising Chief Justice of India JS Khehar and Justice DY Chandrachud refused to issue a verdict on a petition asking to overturn a recently passed Tamil Nadu State Government order on NEET 2017 which reserved 85% of the available state quota seats for State Board students. The apex Court however asked the petitioner to approach the Madras HC for relief as it was already hearing other cases against the Government order, while also urging the High Court to expedite the hearing in the case. Earlier, the same SC Bench had issued notices to the Government of Tamil Nadu, MCI and CBSE asking for their response to this petition. As per a notification issued by the Tamil Nadu State Health and Family Welfare Department on June 22, students who had completed their schooling from the Tamil Nadu State Board schools would be eligible for admissions to all 85% seats under state quota as made available under the NEET 2017 guidelines. However, CBSE students would only be eligible for 15% seats out of these 85% seats in the state’s medical and dental colleges. A group of CBSE students demanded that this rule be quashed as it discriminated against them on unjust grounds thereby violating their right to equality under Article 14 of the Constitution. The petition also sought for an interim injunction to be passed on the ongoing Tamil Nadu MBBS Counselling process for 85% seats until the Court passed its final verdict.


Delhi HC directs CBSE to file report on answer key; CBSE discloses new answer key already released on June 30


In yet another typically bizarre example of NEET-related communication, the CBSE informed the Delhi High Court on July 6 that it had released a final revised version of the NEET 2017 Answer Key on its official website. This was in response to a petition filed by a candidate who had alleged the CBSE had refused to consider her filed corrections on the NEET provisional answer key released on June 15. The candidate’s contention was that this would affect her rank unfairly as the CBSE had issued its results on the basis of a flawed answer key. In response, the CBSE informed the Court that it had already released the final answer key of NEET 2017 on June 30 and the results which had been released on June 23 had been on the basis of this new answer key.

Though this may have earned the CBSE a temporary reprieve, it does little to cover the fact that the Board displayed signs of classic incompetence once again by failing to inform candidates that a new Answer Key had been uploaded on its website. Had such a case not been filed, one can only wonder how long candidates would have remained unaware that they could cross-check their answer sheets with the new answer key and clarify doubts about the marking pattern.


To download the new and revised version of the NEET 2017 Answer Key, Click Here.


Gujarat High Court asks state government to respond to petition challenging medical admission eligibility criteria


In response to a petition challenging the Gujarat Government’s rule to only consider those candidates for 85% state quota admissions to MBBS and BDS courses who had completed their Class 10 and Class 12 from the state, the Gujarat High Court issued a notice asking the Government to justify the provision while also granting interim relief to all students who had been rendered ineligible. As per a recent amendment made to rule 4(3) of Gujarat Professional Medical Educational Courses (Regulation of Admission in UG Courses) Rules, 2017, students who may have cleared their Class 12 from any school in the state but not their Class 10 would automatically be disqualified from applying for admissions to the state’s medical colleges. The petitioning students stated that the earlier version of the rule only required candidates to clear their Class 12 from the state, while demanding that the amended rule be scrapped as it was a violation of Article 14 of the Constitution which prohibits discrimination between citizens on any grounds.


Bombay High Court passes interim order to change Maharashtra State Quota eligibility criteria


In an outcome very similar to that demanded by petitioning students in Gujarat, the Aurangabad Bench of the Bombay High Court directed the State Common Entrance Cell (CET) of the Government of Maharashtra to allow candidates who had completed their Class 10 from outside the state to be eligible for admissions to state medical colleges through NEET 2017. As per Rule Nos. 4.2, 4.5 & 4.6 in the state’s Information Brochure for NEET, students were required to have completed both their SSC and HSC examination from institutions located in Maharashtra. Subsequent to the Bombay HC interim order passed on July 5, a notice was issued by the CET which now allows all Maharashtra domicile candidates who may have only completed their Class 12 and not Class 10 from the state to be eligible for MBBS and BDS admissions through NEET 2017. The candidates will be allowed to fill NEET 2017 Application Forms for Maharashtra medical colleges until July 10 in online mode.


To fill Maharashtra MBBS 2017 Application Form, Click Here.


Government Medical College, Ambikapur withdraws from NEET 2017 Counselling


As per a notification issued by the MCC on July 6, Government Medical College, Ambikapur, located in the state of Chattisgarh has withdrawn its participation from the first round of NEET Counselling. This means that the 15 seats contributed by the College under 15% All India Quota are no longer valid and candidates wishing to opt for admissions in the same will have to select alternative college options.


NEET Rank Letters released by CBSE on July 4


The Central Board of Secondary Education made available the NEET Rank Letters of all candidates eligible for admissions under the 15% All India Quota from July 4 onwards. Successful candidates can download their NEET 2017 Rank Letters from the CBSE website in online mode or from the link given below.


To download NEET Rank Letters 2017, Click Here.


NEET Counselling for 15% All India Quota seats begins from July 3, for Deemed and Central Universities from July 5


The counselling under NEET 2017 for 15% All India Quota seats began from July 3 onwards. The NEET 2017 Counselling will be conducted in online mode for all those candidates who have qualified for admissions in government medical and dental colleges across India in the All India Quota. Counselling for Deemed/Central Universities and for Employees' State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) colleges under 'Insured Persons (IPs)' quota began from July 5. Candidates could view all of the above on the MCC official page or from the link below. The seat matrix for All India Quota and Deemed/Central University admissions was also made available from July first week.


To register for NEET 2017 Counselling for All India Quota/Deemed or Central Universities/ESIC under IP Quota and view the seat matrix for each, Click Here.


NEET 2017 Controversy Recap


With the upper age limit rule and exclusion of Urdu being the main topics of contention prior to the exam being held, the post-exam phase only saw the number of controversies double, with candidates complaining about being made to forcibly and indecently adhere to a dress code and demanding investigations into the possibilities of a paper leak from certain centres in Patna and Jaipur. The biggest controversy of the lot however, came after aspirants from various states noticed that question papers in different languages were different. This promptly led to cases being filed in various high courts across the country with candidates claiming that setting question papers in this manner, with varying levels of difficulty depending on the language, was unfair and that the exam be scrapped and held again.


Scheduled for June 8, the NEET 2017 Results were indefinitely delayed after the Madras High Court issued a stay order on the same until the CBSE could provide a satisfactory explanation to the allegations being made by students.


It finally took the Supreme Court to drag the CBSE out of the mess it found itself in, with the apex judicial body overturning the stay order and directing the Board to declare the result before June 26, even as lakhs of students across the country waited with bated breath to see whether one Government body’s incompetence could actually put paid to their chances of pursuing a career in medicine. What added to the nerves of students right throughout the ordeal was the CBSE’s refusal to issue a single official notification updating them on the status of various aspects of the NEET admission process.


Right from setting different question papers depending on some arbitrary logic on needing to prevent paper leaks to informing candidates about NEET changes and updates not through the website but through its Court defenses, the CBSE has set a new bar in its conducting of NEET 2017. And unfortunately for the Board, it is quite a low one indeed. With cases still pending in various Courts and the Supreme Court regularly being asked to intervene on the CBSE’s behalf on various issues, it remains to be seen if the ongoing Counselling process stands to be derailed due to miscellaneous reasons as has become the norm, or whether the last few months of the medical admission process will allow the CBSE to escape unscathed once again.


Check for the latest news and updates on NEET 2017!


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