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NEET 2018: Aadhaar no longer mandatory

By: R Chandrakala on March 08, 2018

Giving relief to NEET Examinees, The Supreme Court of India has stayed a notification by CBSE that made Aadhaar or enrolment proof mandatory to register or appear in the National Eligibility Entrance Test for the year 2018.

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The judge bench under the leadership of Chief Justice Dipak Mishra, has questioned the center about the issuance of notifications by the respective authorities. The Supreme Court had made it clear in a series of interim orders that Aadhaar would continue to be voluntary until a final decision is taken the court on its constitutional validity.

The petitioners approaching the court against the CBSE Notification and others who have challenged the Aadhaar Scheme, said the government had been issuing such notifications, amounting to contempt of the Supreme Court's orders. The ambit of these orders have been extended to the State Governments.

The CBSE had made the Aadhaar card mandatory for NEET students all over the country, except those in Jammu and Kashmir, Meghalaya and Assam. Students across these three states were allowed to show alternate ID Proofs. The same is now sought to be applied all over the country.This order has not been only implemented for NEET but is applicable across all other examinations as well.

Also, recently, as per a notification by the Karnataka Common Entrance Test, Admissions to Ayurveda, Naturopathy, Yoga, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy would be through NEET from 2018 onwards. The news of NEET baing mandatory for AYUSH, was confirmed last year by way of two notifications in the month of January and April, sending information across to State Governments that admissions to BAMS, BHMS,BSMS, BUMS and BNYS would be done through the NEET Merit List from the year 2018 onwards.

Only a few states like Jammu and Kashmir, Maharashtra, West Bengal and Kerala were able to conduct NEET for determining admissions to AYUSH courses. The demand for these courses have risen not only from the student population, but also demand for these treatments have opened up worldwide.

This is indicative of the intention of the Government to use NEET  as a common standard test determining entry into all kinds of medical courses, not restricting to MBBS and BDS alone.

The CBSE had submitted before the Supreme Court of India that NEET would be comprising of a single set of question paper, which would be translated into all the languages in which it would be held. In the previous year, NEET was conducted in 10 languages - Hindi, English, Gujarati, Assamese, Bengali, Kannada, Oriya, Telugu, Marathi and Tamil. About 1 lakh of the total 11 lakh candidates who wrote the examination opted to appear in the vernacular languages.

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