Health Ministry goes ahead with ‘tentative’ NEET schedule

Even as the fate of the controversial National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for the Post Graduate medical courses for the 2013-14 session remains undecided in the court of law, the Union Health Ministry has gone ahead with a ‘tentative’ schedule for online counselling of students in Government medical and dental colleges from February 20.
The Ministry is hopeful that on the next date of hearing i.e. on February 12, the apex court will take a final decision, on whether or not the States’ and private universities can conduct separate entrance exams. It will be after the court verdict that the NEET PG 2013 results will be declared.
The online schedule is to avoid last minute hassle and for the convenience of students,” said a senior Union Health Ministry official. The two-month counselling schedule — beginning February 20 and ending on April 19 — has been already uploaded on the Ministry’s website.
However, apparently unsure if the order will go in its favour, the Ministry has, as of now, proposed counselling only for those, who qualify for the around 6,000 seats in Government colleges. “Depending on the outcome of the order, we will take steps for counselling of the students from the private colleges also,” the official added.
NEET tests were held for a total 20,000 PG seats in all the 350 medical colleges across the country in November last year.
A total of 95,463 MBBS passouts had appeared for the first-ever NEET-PG, 2013-14. Joint entrance test for undergraduate medical courses is proposed to be conducted in May.
Following opposition from various quarters, the Supreme Court on December 13, 2012 had given permission to private colleges, universities and State Governments to conduct their own entrance examination for admission in PG medical courses. It, however, ordered that results should not be announced until its next order.

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