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Questions answered: AIPMT & NEET 2016 and whether the Supreme Court will fix things today?

SC: Is there some hope yet for a NEET-AIPMT-fix?
SC: Is there some hope yet for a NEET-AIPMT-fix?

A last-moment PIL and orders passed by the Supreme Court of India has created a fair bit of confusion, not to mention feelings of unfairness amongst students sitting for the pre-medical exam.

So, we have compiled a series of answers to the most commonly asked questions relating to the 2016 NEET and AIPMT debacle.

What exam is it now, NEET or AIPMT?

I had applied for AIPMT 2016 to be held on 1 May 2016. After the 28 April order of SC, which exam would I technically be appearing in? AIPMT or NEET?

After the 28 April order, AIPMT is now NEET.

The test conducted by CBSE on 1 May 2016 was now known as NEET.

The proposed exam on 24 July 2016 would be called the second phase of the NEET.

The court keeps hearing it again. Why?

Order passed by Supreme Court on 28 April is not the final order. Court has subsequently several times refused to interfere with that order. Is there any remedy which can be availed against the order?

The Supreme Court is the highest court of the land and hence its order cannot be further appealed against.

However, a review of the order can be sought but considering the reluctance of SC in re-opening its own judgments, it is far from certain that it will make any changes.

At least this should be understood from the current position that those who appeared in the 1 May NEET would not be allowed to appear on 24 July 2016.

These FAQs recently released by CBSE will further answer your queries.

Can the Supreme Court still save us?

SC would continue to hear this matter. What can be expected?

The Supreme Court will hear the matter next today (3 May 2016).

Among other things, it will also consider the issue raised by states like Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka that they may be allowed to conduct a separate test.

As a ray of hope, a number of very experienced senior counsel will be arguing for some modification, which means there’s a good chance that the Supreme Court will hear them out at length.

Will 12th marks count for nothing?

Some states like Tamil Nadu do not conduct entrance tests but provide admissions on the basis of class 12th marks. Will such students also be forced to appear in NEET on 24 July?

Yes, everyone who has not applied for AIPMT 2016 but wishes to be considered for a medical college seat has to appear in phase II of NEET 2016.

But further proceedings before the Supreme Court could possibly affect this.

Language barrier

I do not speak English or Hindi. What are the language options in NEET?

AIPMT 2016 was conducted only in English and Hindi. Hence NEET 2016 is available only in these two languages. State entrance tests are conducted in their vernacular languages as well.

However unfortunately, with the sudden advent of NEET 2016, one can appear in NEET 2016 either in Hindi or in English.

But again, anything could happen in the next hearings.

I thought NEET was illegal?

In 2013, the Supreme Court had declared NEET to be unconstitutional. What did the recent 11 April 2016 judgment do?

On 11 April 2016, the SC recalled its 2013 judgment.

Therefore the status of NEET is as though the 2013 judgment was never given.

This means that the entire litigation challenging the constitutionality of NEET has been revived and all contentions can again be raised against its constitutionality.

So NEET may yet become illegal?

So if eventually SC is to hold NEET as unconstitutional, what happens to NEET 2016?

If the Supreme Court, after hearing the petitions challenging the constitutional validity of NEET, does eventually hold it to be unconstitutional, in all probability the Supreme Court would affirm the validity of NEET 2016.

However, with such a ruling, no further NEET as per the present model can be held.

Is there still a dress code?

Are the restrictions on wearing clothes like hijab/habit etc. apply to NEET as well?

It appears that strict restrictions concerning clothes like last year have been relaxed this time.

Candidates wearing ‘customary/religious’ dresses had to report latest by 8.30 am for ‘frisking’. This early arrival for the frisking rule appears to have been incorporated in tune with the order of the Kerala High Court last year, to prevent cheating at the NEET.

Mohit Singh is an advocate of the Supreme Court of India.

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