In a major policy decision by way of clarification, UGC has notified that Deemed Universities programmes will have to admit students from the all India merit list of the National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET), for their MBBS / BDS in their medical Institutes.
UGC has taken support of Regulation 6.3 of the UGC [Institution Deemed to be Universities] Regulations, 2016, which reads as under:
“ Admission of students to an institution deemed to be university, public or private, shall be made in the following manner: In case the appropriate statutory authority has specified the process of selection for admission to any course, or programme of study in any institution which includes conducting competitive admission test for ascertaining the competence of any person to pursue such course or programme of study, in that case, no person shall be admitted to such course or programme of study in such institution, except through an admission test conducted by a recognized body or such institution or a group of institutions if such institution or group of institutions have been so authorised by the Central Government or a State Government or any statutory authority.”
Relying on this Clause, UGC has said that Medical Council of India is the appropriate authority for regulating admission and other issues in field of education and it has notified NEET as the entrance test for admission to Medical Colleges all over India. UGC has also clarified that CBSE is the recognised body authorized by the Central Government to conduct the NEET.
Pertinently, as per the directives of Hon’ble Supreme Court of India and the Ordinances promulgated by the Central Government on 24.05.2016, NATIONAL ELIGIBILITY CUM ENTRANCE TEST-II (UG), 2016 was to be conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education, Delhi for admission to MBBS/BDS Courses in Medical/Dental Colleges run with the approval of Medical Council of India/Dental Council of India under the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. The responsibility of the CBSE is though limited to the conduct of the entrance examination, declaration of result and providing All India Rank to the Counseling Authorities and Admitting Institutions.
Therefore, UGC on instructions of MHRD, proceeded to rule that :
A) All institutions deemed to be universities (deemed universities) shall be part of the common counselling for admission in medical courses organised either by the state government or Central Government or through its agencies based on the marks obtained in NEET,” the UGC has told deemed varsities.
B) If the state government is unable to hold the common counselling or the deemed universities offering MBBS or BDS were not covered in the counselling, the Universities will be required to put up a transparent system of admission on basis of inter-se merit list in which no student is denied from applying for admission in a Deemed University.
UGC has also sought compliance from the Deemed Universities after the closure of admission process.
“Chaos to existing confusion” or “confusion to existing chaos”, this is how I describe this situation. Sometimes delayed wisdom is more injurious than an inadvertent mistake.
The UGC Deemed University Regulations referred in the clarification was notified on 11th July 2016. Why did it take UGC so long to make this clarification. The delay becomes more questionable when Bombay High Court has granted stay in favour of Deemed Universities in a case involving similar notification from Government of Maharashtra.
Now, what will happen, Deemed Universities will again approach Court, being armed with the earlier order. The Court may / may not grant STAY. But agony of a student and confusion in the environment will continue. In fact many Deemed Universities may have taken effective steps to complete their admission process by now.
Such delay causes lot of confusion in the regulatory regime and also difficulty for students and complications for the concerned Institute.
A stich in time saves nine !