Even as the Supreme Court order on the Common Medical Entrance Test raised hopes of a uniform test from this year itself, the health ministry has indicated this may not be “practically” possible given the short notice.
The ministry has asked for suggestions from the Medical Council of India on whether there is any scope of conducting the examination this year, though officials conceded this might be a long shot.
“The notification for the common test has to be out by December. It may be too late to start the process now,” an official said. He added that a couple of exams have already been held and in many colleges the last dates have passed.
In a cautious approach to streamline medical education, the ministry will also push for amendments in the MCI Act. “We will try to bring in changes to the Act so that it provides a strong ground,” a senior official in the health ministry said.
Health minister Jagat Prakash Nadda has already approved the MCI’s recommendation for an amendment to the Indian Medical Council (IMC) Act that will empower it to hold a nationwide common medical entrance test.
The amendment has also been cleared by the law ministry. The health ministry is now waiting for comments from a few other related ministries including the HRD ministry.
The official said the ministry will now try to expedite the process and place the changes in Parliament so as to avoid a roadblock when the SC revisits the case. On Monday, the apex court recalled its earlier order scrapping NEET for admissions to MBBS, BDS and PG courses.