Ignoring protests by political parties in Tamil Nadu, the Medical Council of India has decided to conduct a nationwide common entrance examination for admissions to medical colleges in the country.
Announcing the decision, MCI Additional Secretary Dr P Prasannraj, in a notification published in the central gazette on December 27, said a national eligibility-cum-entrance test for admission to MBBS courses will be held every academic year and a student should get 50 per cent marks in each of the papers of the test.
"All admissions to MBBS course within the respective categories should be based solely on marks obtained in the national eligibility-cum-entrance test," the notification said
However, minimum marks prescribed for students from SC, ST and OBCs shall be 40 per cent and for students with locomotor disability of lower level, it would be 45 per cent, it said.
Reservation of seats in medical colleges for many categories should be as per applicable laws prevailing in the concerned states and an All India merit list would be prepared on the basis of marks obtained in the entrance test and admissions should be conducted on the basis of that list only, it said.
MCI also proposed to conduct similar test for PG admissions in the Medical colleges.
The ruling DMK, its bitter rival AIADMK, PMK and Congress had opposed the move even before the notification. Chief Minister M Karunanidhi had recently written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and to Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad not to go ahead with the move.
AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa and PMK founder S Ramadoss had opposed the move on the plea that it was against social justice and students from rural areas could not make it if an entrance test was conducted.
Tamil Nadu government had abolished entrance tests for professional courses a decade back and marks obtained by students in the plus two exams were taken for the admissions.
Meanwhile, All India Medical Association, an umbrella organisation for private medical colleges, described the move as "arbitrary and unilateral."
Association President TD Naidu, in a statement, said the MCI had no role to play in the admissions as its job was only to give permission to start medical colleges. The association was of the view that admissions under management quota should not be affected by the recent notification.
The association would be challenging the notification, as it was against the fundamental rights of private medical colleges, the statement said.