NEET 2020: Necessary In The National Interest, Doesn’t Violate Minority Institution’s Rights: SC

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The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India delivered a landmark judgment in respect of 76 different petitions filed by minority and private institutions against the notification of NEET in 2013. The Supreme Court stated that the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test, i.e., NEET does not violate the rights of the minorities guaranteed by the constitution of India. The court further ruled that NEET 2020 will be used for the purpose of enrolment of students to, aided as well as unaided, minority medical and dental colleges as well. The apex court found out in its judgment that NEET is necessary for the national interest as it qualifies the test of proportionality.

 

The judgment further specified that NEET is intended to address and weed out various maladies and malpractices that have crept into the country’s educational system such as profiteering, exploitation, and commercialization of education wherein students with lower merit are admitted in lieu of a capitation fee. As a result, the whole educational system of the country has decayed. Check >> NEET 2020: NTA To Allow Students To Change Exam-Centres, Official Notice

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The Supreme Court held that the regulatory measures specified by NEET 2020 in no way interfere with the right to manage and administer the institution by religious or linguistic minorities. The judgment delivered by the bench comprising of Justice Vineet Saran, Justice Arun Mishra, and Justice M R Shah read, “Resultantly, we hold that there is no violation of the rights of the unaided/aided minority to administer institutions under Articles 19(1)(g) and 30 read with Articles 25, 26 and 29(1) of the Constitution of India by prescribing the uniform examination of NEET for admissions in the graduate and postgraduate professional courses of medical as well as dental science.”

The bench delivered this judgment against petitions filed by educational institutions like the SRM Medical College Hospital, Christian Medical College, Manipal University, Karnataka Private Medical and Dental Colleges Association. These institutions had contested the scrapping of AIPMT and the introduction of NEET (National Eligibility cum Entrance Test) on the basis that the minorities have the right to administer their institutions under Article 30 of the constitution, and the government cannot force them to conduct a compulsory entrance examination.

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The bench quoted in the verdict that “Regulatory measures cannot be said to be exceeding the concept of limited governance. The regulatory measures in question are for the improvement of the public health and is a step, in furtherance of the directive principles enshrined in Articles 47 and 51(A)(j) and enable the individual by providing full opportunity in pursuance of his objective to excel in his pursuit.”

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On the plea made by the institutions that the right to administer the institution also covers the right to conduct independent entrance examinations, the court observed that “There is no right given to maladminister the education derogatory to the national interest. The quality of medical education is imperative to sub­serve the national interest, and the merit cannot be compromised.”

 

 

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