MUMBAI: Maharashtra Medical Education minister Vinod Tawde today said the state government would file a review petition in the Supreme Court with regard to NEET and said students aspiring for admission to medical courses should appear for the state's medical entrance examination, MH-CET, on May 5.
Tawde said MH-CET will be held as per the schedule.
"There is no change. The students who have prepared for the MH-CET should appear for it. The state Government will file a review petition in the Supreme Court," he told reporters.
The Supreme Court today said the entrance test for admission to MBBS and BDS courses for the academic year 2016-17 will be held as per the schedule through the single common National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET) on May 1 and July 24.
Tawde said those who appear for the NEET can also appear for the May 5 MH-CET.
Even if the SC turned down state's plea to allow it to hold the MH-CET on May 5, the students still have the chance to appear for the NEET on July 24, he said.
He asserted that the state will conduct the medical admission process as per the MH-CET results.
In its review petition, the state will argue before the apex court that the students from HSC (state) Board, appearing for the 85 per cent of the state-level admission quota seats, will not be able to compete with the students from CBSE boards in the NEET because of the different syllabus.
Asked why the state did not move the SC yesterday, the minister said besides Maharashtra there were other states such as Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal who have their own CETs for medical admissions.
Tawde said the state Government will present three main arguments before the SC.
First, Maharashtra had put in place, by enacting a law, a single Common Entrance Test (CET) for all the the government and private medical colleges before NEET was conceived.
It was done following allegations of corruption in CETs of private medical colleges, the minister said.
Second, Maharashtra has CBSE, ICSE as well as State Board (HSC) schools/junior colleges, but NEET will be based on the CBSE syllabus.
CBSE schools exist mainly in big cities, and thus NEET will be an injustice to the students from rural Maharashtra.
Besides there is hardly any time gap between the two tests.
In 2013, the state had told the apex court it will not be possible to upgrade HSC syllabus to the level of CBSE within a year, but it would be done in stages, and Maharashtra would join the NEET in 2018.
The third contention of the Government will be regarding the common merit list of those taking May 1 and July 24 NEETs.
If the difficulty-level of two NEETS varied, then it would be injustice to some students, Tawde said.
The state Government would ask its counsel to move and argue the review petition before the SC on May 2, he said.
A senior official in the state Medical Education department said Andhra Pradesh had already conducted its CET.
He also said that the enrolment process for May 1 NEET was already complete.
A total of 4,09,322 students have applied for MH-CET, of which 2,68,274 are appearing for engineering and 2,83,319 are appearing for medical courses.
About 6 to 6.5 lakh students are appearing for NEET in the state.