Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir government on Monday moved the Supreme Court seeking exemption from National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for admission to medical courses, officials said.
The matter is listed to be heard on Tuesday by the apex court.
Earlier, State Education Minister Naeem Akhtar had said: “We are approaching the Supreme Court for relief. We have a strong case and are hopeful our state would get exemption from NEET and we would be allowed to continue our established process for selection to these professional courses”.
Representational image. AFPRepresentational image. AFP
The state government officials said given its special status, Jammu and Kashmir should be exempted from NEET.
The first phase of NEET was held throughout the country on Sunday following an order of the Supreme Court on 28 April. The second phase is scheduled for 24 July.
Union Health Minister J P Nadda told the Lok Sabha on Friday: “NEET extends in the entire country, including Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Jammu and Kashmir, for admission in UG (undergraduate) and PG (postgraduate) medical courses.”
However, State Law Secretary Muhammad Ashraf said education is in the concurrent list, but the amendment that brought education into that list was not extended to Jammu and Kashmir.
So education remains a state subject in Jammu and Kashmir, he said.
The state has been conducting its own entrance test for medical courses held by the board of professional entrance examinations (BOPEE).
Jammu and Kashmir is the only state in the country that has a constitution of its own which is applicable along with the Constitution of India.
“It is this special status that has created the confusion which needs to be immediately cleared. We have also to be clearly told whether the merit arrived at would be such that candidates from outside the state would also get admission in J&K and vice versa,” said Bashir Ahmad War, whose niece is an aspirant for the graduate course in medicine this year.
What happens to reservations available to aspirants if the state is not exempted from NEET, asked War.
“There is 50 percent reservation for girls in these courses in J&K. Then there are state specific reservations like residents of backward areas, residents of line of control, children of police personnel etc. What happens to these reservations if NEET is the entry route to graduate and post graduate courses in the state?”
The BOPEE has already announced its schedule for this year’s selection to MBBS and other courses in various medical colleges in the state.
The state did not have a NEET centre for phase one and aspirants who took the test had to travel to Delhi and other places to appear in the exam.
Aspirants for this year’s professional courses in Kashmir who had applied for NEET and who appeared for phase one say they did so without much preparation as they are focused completely on the BOPEE test scheduled for 14 and 15 May.
“I appeared for the test, but did so only to get a better feel of the test. We are focused on the BOPEE test,” said Suhail, an aspirant for the MBBS course this year.
NEET will have serious ramifications
The Supreme Court order making an all-India level entrance examination mandatory on Jammu and Kashmir for filling up its MBBS, MD and BDS seats is being vehemently criticized by people here.
Civil Society member Shakeel Qalandar urged upon the state government to conduct the Common Entrance Test (CET) as per schedule. He said that government should not postpone this test and it should be conducted as per schedule and in time. Jammu and Kashmir enjoys a special status and I doubt the Supreme Court ruling could be applicable in the state. Education is a state subject over which Centre cant make any law, he said adding that it if Supreme court order is implemented in the State, it will have serious ramifications.
Legislator Hakim Muhmmad Yasin said that the Supreme Court ruling is a direct attack on the credibility of Article 370. Ruling with regard to NEET if implemented in the state will automatically open up doors for non-state subjects to study in J&Ks Medical Colleges that may result in shortage of specialists and doctors in the states healthcare system. This ruling should not be implemented in Jammu and Kashmir and in no way it is applicable in the State owing the special status enjoyed by us, he said.
Senior Communits Party of India leader and legislator Muhammad Yousuf Tarigami said that State Government must impress upon the Supreme Court to revise its ruling on the NEET. He said students from Jammu and Kashmir should be given time to prepare themselves for such an exercise. It is the duty and responsibility of the state government to challenge the ruling of having NEET on uniform pattern across India. J&K government should plead for the revision of the ruling of the Supreme Court, he said.
Civil Society member Hameeda Nayeem said that the present Supreme Court ruling goes against the spirit of Article 370 that makes Jammu and Kashmir different from all other states of India. We have our own Constitution, our own administrative matters and such a ruling if implemented will once again erode whatever autonomy we have, she said.
Senior separatist leader Aga Syed Hasan Almovi Alsafvi said that this NEET ruling will diminish the limited opportunities for the youth of Jammu and Kashmir in education and job sector. Jammu and Kashmir is a different state where India laws need not to be implemented, he said.
Former Parliament Member Abdul Rashid Kabuli said that this law will have serious consequences and it must not be implemented in Jammu and Kashmir. It will only create chaos and confusion and it is in the interest of state government and people in general if this law is not implemented in the state, he said.
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