Health Ministry Opposes CET for Engineering and Medical
The Union Health Ministry on Friday opposed in the Supreme Court the Human Resource Development Ministry’s move to introduce an all-India combined entrance examination for admission to engineering and medical courses from 2011-2012.
A Bench of Justices R.V. Raveendran and A.K. Patnaik issued notice to the Health Ministry, seeking its submissions in writing within three weeks.
Senior counsel Altaf Ahmed, appearing for the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), which filed the application, said the combined examination would relieve students from taking multiple examinations. When Justice Raveendran asked whether there would be separate counselling for admissions, the Health Ministry counsel said that even if there was separate counselling for engineering and medical courses, there were certain practical and logistical difficulties in holding such an examination (combining the All India Engineering Entrance Examination (AIEEE) and All India Pre-Medical/Pre-Dental test). He said it would be premature to go ahead with such a combined test.
Justice Raveendran asked counsel, “Are there difficulties or is it a departmental fight between the Ministries. You put everything in writing.”
In its application, the CBSE said the All India Pre-Medical Test was conducted to fill 15 per cent seats in MBBS/BDS courses in the all-India quota and the AIEEE conducted for different category of engineering colleges.
The CBSE said the Centre held a meeting on October 10 with itself, the Delhi University and the Medical Council of India where the decision to hold a combined test was taken.
Explaining the merits of the scheme, the CBSE said that in one go candidates would be able to appear in medical and engineering entrance examination; the selection of candidates would be based on common test tools; candidates would be less stressed; parents would also be less stressed and financially less burdened; and examination would be conducted on a common syllabus of all Boards. This would help candidates focus on classroom teaching and be less dependent on coaching.
The CBSE sought the court’s nod for this proposal. The Bench directed the matter to be listed after three weeks.
HRD Minister Kapil Sibal had announced that the CBSE, would merge the All India Engineering Entrance Exam (AIEEE) and All India Pre-Medical Test (AIPMT) from the coming academic year. The merger of AIEEE and AIPMT would help the students, a ministry statement had said.
While physics and chemistry will be common for both, medical students could answer only the biology paper and engineering students could go for the mathematics paper.
Sibal had said the HRD Ministry was debating whether it was possible to have one common exam after Class XII that would test the general awareness and aptitude of the student. The universities will give weightage to Class XII marks and entrance marks of students while giving admission.