AP in a fix as Centre ignores plea on NEET

The Centre has ignored the state government’s plea regarding exempting candidates from Andhra Pradesh from the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (Neet) till 2014 for MBBS admissions.

In a communication sent to the Medical Education department, the Centre has made it clear that Neet is being held on the directions of the Supreme Court and it has no role to play in the issue. The Centre suggested that the state government approach the Supreme Court for exemption. With no signs of a positive response from the Centre over Neet, the state government has decided to make a last-ditch effort to seek exemption at least for this year. Health minister D.L. Ravindra Reddy has decided to meet Union health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad on Tuesday at New Delhi and discuss the issue with him.

The state government is also contemplating sending a team headed by the minister for primary education D. Shailajanath to convince the Centre regarding exempting Andhra Pradesh from Neet for the present. “I will explain the practical problems being faced by the state government in adopting Neet from this year to the Centre,” Mr Ravindra Reddy said. “I will also bring to the notice of the Union health minister, Mr Ghulam Nabi Azad the concerns being expressed by students, parents and teachers over Neet,” he added. Mr Ravindra Reddy also said that while there was no objection to Neet on a broader perspective, the problem was with the timing of the exam.

“If students are informed about any exam changes while they take admission to Inter First Year, there will be no problem. But now the Inter students have already completed the first year of the course and only five months are left to finish the second year,” he said. “At this stage, if we ask them to appear for the exam in a new format, it will be unfair. The students, parents and teachers are tensed over the issue,” Mr Ravindra Reddy added. Options before the state government To take cover behind TN, the only state to be exempted from Neet To approach SC, seek time till '14 and explain problems of students Seeking exemption from Neet at least for this year The State has slated to appeal in Supreme Court for exempting Andhra Pradesh from the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test for MBBS admissions, pointing out the short time left for the students to prepare for the test in a new format, as the Centre has turned a blind eye towards the state’s exemption plea.

But what is surprising is that the government had ignored to respond to the Neet proposal sent by the Medical Council of India in December 2010. The lack of coordination between officials of Higher Education department, Andhra Pradesh State Council of Higher Education and the Medical Education department is reported to be the reason for this. Even when Medical Council of India had called for the states’ opinion on the Neet syllabus in August this year, there was no response from the state. A team of officials from the Medical Education department, which attended the MCI meeting in September this year, had also failed to convey the state’s reservation over Neet except for making a request for giving the candidates an option to write the test in Telugu along with English and Hindi.
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