NEET not Required: Nursing Admissions only on basis of Physics, Chemistry and Biology marks in Maharashtra
Mumbai: As a one time measure, the Aurangabad Bench of Bombay High Court has ordered that admission to nursing courses will be done on the basis of the Physics, Chemistry and Biology marks of Class XII examination instead of the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET).However, the Court has clarified that this decision shall not affect the first round of admissions that filled in...
Mumbai: As a one time measure, the Aurangabad Bench of Bombay High Court has ordered that admission to nursing courses will be done on the basis of the Physics, Chemistry and Biology marks of Class XII examination instead of the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET).
However, the Court has clarified that this decision shall not affect the first round of admissions that filled in around 1,200 seats. Directing the Indian Nursing Council to coordinate with the Commissioner of CET Cell, the HC bench comprising of Justices Sanjay A. Deshmukh and Ravindra V. Ghuge has also clarified that the entire admission process should not continue beyond December 31, 2022.
Such a decision was taken by the Court while considering a plea by Private Nursing School and College Management Association (PNSCMA). The question that was being considered by the court was whether the State could automatically apply the NEET-UG 2022 exam results for B.Sc Nursing admissions when the Indian Nursing Council had earlier clarified that the State shall conduct an entrance examination for the same.
Under the 2020 Regulations issued by the INC, admission terms and conditions indicate that, the candidate must have qualifying 12th Standard examination (10+2 exam) and must have obtained a minimum of 45% marks in Physics, Chemistry and Biology, taken together and should have passed English subject individually. This entrance test is mandated to be conducted by the State.
While for the past few years, Nursing aspirants have been appearing in NEET-UG, this year, INC mentioned that the State required to conduct an entrance examination or admit those students who obtained 50 percentile or more marks in the NEET exam. Challenging the same, the association had approached the HC.
After perusing the relevant rules, circulars and notifications issued by the Government authorities including the Indian Nursing Council, the bench observed, "We do not have any doubt that the admission process to any particular course cannot be completed by adopting two different modes. Either the NEET-UG score be considered or the 12th Standard score be considered."
Opining that there has been a complete lack of coordination between the Nursing Council and the State Government, the bench noted, "We are, therefore, of the view that, there has been a complete lack of coordination between the Nursing Council and the State Government while conducting the admissions to the B.Sc. Nursing course. All along the Nursing Council was insisting for an entrance exam or the merit score of the students. The merit score relates to 12th Standard results. Entrance exam specifically for admitting students to the nursing course was never conducted by the State Government."
"By G.R. dated 1st December, 2016, the NEET-UG score was applied even to the admission to the Nursing course. The notification dated 11th August, 2021 indicates that, NEET-UG result may be utilised/restricted only to other entities or Central or State Government and it would not be mandatory / compulsory for B.Sc. Nursing course. Yet, the State Government has proceeded to effect admissions to the Regular Batch by relying upon the NEET-UG-2022 score, in the backdrop of a clear mandate set out in X-1 that the admission to the B.Sc. Nursing course should be completed either by the merit list or by conducting entrance examination by the State Government / Universities," it added.
Observing that the Nursing admissions cannot be split into two portions, the Court mentioned in the judgment, "We find that the admission process to the B.Sc. Nursing course cannot be split into two portions by applying NEET-UG score to the admission for the Regular Batch and by applying HSC score to the admissions for the Irregular Batch. Rest of the States in the country, where there has been no entrance examinations, are said to have relied upon the 12th Standard score of the students for admitting them to B.Sc. Nursing."
"We are of the view that, admissions to the particular course can only be completed by relying upon such rules, which have been applied uniformly and not by having two sets of rules being applied for the admissions to the same course, merely because the Indian Nursing Council has segregated the students admitted in the first batch under the title Regular Batch admission and by placing the second batch of the students under the title Irregular Batch," it observed.
Considering the consensus among all the parties, the bench also opined that the admissions already made should not be disturbed. Therefore, the bench ordered,
"By way of a one time measure and in view of the consensus between the parties, we direct respondent No.3, the Commissioner, CET Cell (Admission Regulatory Authority) to give wide publicity in Maharashtra for inviting students to register themselves for the second round of admission on the basis of their HSC (10+2) score within a period of five (5) days from the date of uploading such notice on the website. The closing time on the fifth (5th) day when the registration of candidates would be stopped, should be mentioned in the notice. Thereafter, the admission process on the basis of HSC (10+2) score as per the admission guidelines of the 2022- Regulations (Notification dated 8th April, 2022) would be conducted in such manner and within such time, as may be advised. We expect the Indian Nursing Council to coordinate with respondent No.3 - the Commissioner, CET Cell (Admission Regulatory Authority). It is expected that this exercise of admission of students would not be continued beyond 31st December, 2022 as has been set out in the Notifcation-16 of 2022, dated 21st October, 2022 reproduced above."
"Before parting with this case, we deem it appropriate to direct that the Indian Nursing Council would set right the mode of conducting the admissions for the B.Sc. Nursing course, by ensuring uniformity in the admission process, from the next academic year," it further noted.
However, the Court's order shall be implemented only after the first round of admission, where around 1200 admissions had been made. Therefore, the Court issued the order while giving protection to these admissions.
As per the latest media report by Hindustan Times, Private Nursing School and College Management Association (PNSCMA) on Saturday urged the Common Entrance Test (CET) cell for re-opening the admissions for B.Sc (Nursing) courses as per the court order.
Meanwhile, HT adds that the President of PNSCMA, Dr. Balasaheb Pawar said during an online interaction on Sunday, "NEET criteria was unfair to aspirants in Maharashtra. The court's decision to quash the CET cell's order of making NEET the qualifying score for nursing education is a welcome move."
Further mentioning that since 2012, aspirants of B.Sc (nursing) have been expected to appear in the NEET-UG, he further added, "This year, Indian Nursing Council (INC) in April said that states could conduct a 100 marks aptitude test or admit candidates who are in the 50 percentile and above bracket in the NEET exam."
"The PNSCMA discussed not following the INC circular with the CET cell and state authorities. Following that, the CET cell issued a circular on June 16 requesting that colleges in Maharashtra admit students based on the qualifying score established by the INC. It is after this, that we moved to the court and brought justice for the colleges and students," said Pawar.
While in the first round around 1200 seats out of the 6030 nursing seats have been filled, now the remaining admissions will be done on the basis of the Court order. While commenting on this, Dr Ramling Mali, President, of Maharashtra Nursing Council told the daily, "The 50% qualifying criteria in NEET was a very high bar for candidates. NEET is used for B.Sc nursing admission in three states, including Maharashtra. Most states and deemed universities opted to take the 100 marks test and admit students to the nursing degree programme."
To read the court order, click on the link below:
Barsha completed her Master's in English from the University of Burdwan, West Bengal in 2018. Having a knack for Journalism she joined Medical Dialogues back in 2020. She mainly covers news about medico legal cases, NMC/DCI updates, medical education issues including the latest updates about medical and dental colleges in India. She can be contacted at email@example.com.