In a major relief for postgraduate medical students in Tamil Nadu, the Supreme Court stayed a Madras High Court order, on Thursday, making way for colleges to go ahead with the admission process for the current academic year.
The Supreme Court also advised the Madras HC to restrain from passing interim orders, such as staying/quashing NEET entrance exams and medical admission process.
"This is not a permanent solution, the central government should amend the Medical Council of India (MCI), Act. The state government should be allowed to provide reservation for government doctors in undergraduate, diploma and postgraduation and 10, 20 and 30% marks must be removed for doctors who work in rural areas from MCI Act, the state government should be allowed to decide," Dr Ravindran, General Secretary of Doctorsâ€™ Association for Social Equality told TNM.
The apex court was hearing an appeal made by the state government against the Madras HC order made in May.
The Madras HC, in its order on May 24, had asked the CBSE not to declare results of NEET, the only entrance test for medical and dental courses in the country, while hearing a PIL which alleged non-uniformity in question paper set in different languages.
The petition had said that the question set in Tamil was easier, compared to the questions in the English-medium question paper.
Earlier the countryâ€™s top court had allowed CBSE to declare NEET results on June 12.
The apex court had also asked High Courts not to entertain petitions on NEET 2017 exams. The exams were held on May 7.
"For now, we are happy that the Supreme Court has stayed Madras HC's order because the government doctors working in rural areas have received 10, 20 and 30 per cent incentive. This time, we are accepting it and are satisfied that the merit list won't be changed. But next year, the state government must provide 50 per cent quota to government doctors," Ramalingam, state organising secretary, Service Doctors and Post Graduates Association.
The idea of NEET has been contested since its inception by various state governments including the Tamil Nadu government.
Late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, J Jayalalithaa had strongly objected to the single national-level examination for medical courses citing that it would put rural students at a disadvantage because they lack resources to stand on an equal playing field as their economically advantaged peers.
The TN government also claimed that it would overlap with the state's autonomy and right to regulate the admission policies to medical educational institutions.
CM Edappadi K Palaniswami had earlier urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to approve the state's Bills seeking exemption from National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) for state government seat quota.
States of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Kerala, Union Territory of Puducherry and the Karnataka Private Medical Colleges Association had earlier filed applications in the Supreme Court opposing the unified entrance exam