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NEET Structured For Modern Medicine Courses, Can't Be Applied To Homoeopathy: Plea Filed In Delhi High Court, Notice Issued

Akshita Saxena
23 March 2022 9:33 AM GMT
NEET Structured For Modern Medicine Courses, Cant Be Applied To Homoeopathy: Plea Filed In Delhi High Court, Notice Issued
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The Delhi High Court today issued notice on a petition challening the common entrance, i.e., the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test ("NEET") for admissions to both Homoeopathy and Modern Medicines courses.Notices have been issued by a division bench of Acting Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Navin Chawla to Ministry of AYUSH, National Commission for Homoeopathy, National Testing...

The Delhi High Court today issued notice on a petition challening the common entrance, i.e., the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test ("NEET") for admissions to both Homoeopathy and Modern Medicines courses.

Notices have been issued by a division bench of Acting Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Navin Chawla to Ministry of AYUSH, National Commission for Homoeopathy, National Testing Agency, and others. 

Earlier, a similar plea was filed before the High Court and interim directions were issued by on February 25, 2022, permitting the concerned institutions to provisionally admit students in the Homeopathy stream qua undergraduate courses vis-à-vis academic year 2021-2022, in case any surplus seats are left.. 

The instant plea, filed by a group of Homeopathic Medical Colleges, challenges the legality of Section 14 of the National Commission for Homoeopathy Act, 2020 and Information Bulletin NEET (UG)-2021 dated 13.07.2021, insofar as the same mandates candidates to qualify in NEET for taking admission in Homoeopathy courses as well as courses of Modern Scientific Medicines.

The primary contention of the Petitioners is that NEET is structured for modern scientific medicine courses and since Homeopathy course operate in a different field, hence, NEET cannot be made applicable to homeopathy.

Reliance is placed on a Karnataka High Court judgment passed in Writ Petition No. 1261/2022 wherein the Petitioner colleges were permitted to admit students without insisting upon NEET Qualifications after all rounds of counselling, if seats are remained vacant.

Reference was also made to the Madhya Pradesh High Court judgment which pass a similar interim relief vide in Rani Dullaiya Smriti Homeopathy Medical College and Hospital and Others v. State of Madhya Pradesh and Others.
It is further contended that NEET is creation of a statute which restricts its operation to admission in the courses related to modern scientific medicine. Hence, it cannot be applied to other courses.
The plea states,
"NEET has been created by NMC Act which itself is applicable only to the Medical Institutions that grant degrees, diplomas or licenses in Modern Scientific medicine, which is different from Medical Institutions that grants degrees, diplomas or licenses in Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha or 20 Homoeopathy Medicines...if the main statute has itself restricted the scope of NEET to the extent of Modern Scientific medicine, then it cannot be extended to any other course by way of another Act without there being any authorization or amendment in the main Act for doing the same."
It is added that the nature of the Courses w.r.t Modern Scientific Medicine and Homeopathy are poles apart and subjects taught to the students of Indian Medicine are distinct from the subjects taught to students of Modern Scientific Medicine.
Another grievance raised in the petition is that the National Testing Agency issued Information Bulletin for NEET 2021 notifying a common NEET for taking admission in all the disciplines of medical education like MBBS, BDS, BAMS, BSMS, BUMS and BHMS for academic session 2021-22. However, it does not even provide for a separate criterion for admission into Homeopathy courses.
It is averred that the impugned Bulletin provides for the same percentile as the qualifying criteria for MBBS/BDS and BHMS Courses i.e., 50 percentile. The Percentile Score indicates that a certain percentage of candidates falls below that percentile. The Percentile Score is a comparative marking system dependent on the score of the topper in that examination. Thus, the percentile system does not take into consideration the merit based on the marks obtained by candidates but is based upon the comparative ranking with the highest scorer in the NEET examination.
It is stated that the percentile of the candidates aiming only for the BHMS Courses are decided on the basis of comparison of the marks obtained by such candidates with those aiming for the Modern Medicine Courses. A common merit list is prepared on the basis of this comparative percentile for the students of two heterogeneous categories i.e., Modern Medicine courses and BHMS courses. Such a common merit list disqualifies and debars the students/candidates, who were otherwise qualified and aiming to pursue BHMS courses due to them scoring less than 50 percentile.
"Even if a common NEET is conducted, the 15 scores of the candidates who wish to pursue BHMS Courses may be ranked separately from that of the candidates who wish to pursue their career in modern medicine," it is urged.

The mater is now listed for hearing on March 30. Meanwhile, the Division Bench has passed an interim order in terms of the order dated February 25, 2022.

The plea is filed through Advocates Animesh Kumar, Nishant Kumar, Shweta Singh & Rishabh Gupta.

Case Title: P. D. Jain Homoeopathic Medical College & Ors v. Union of India & Ors.

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