Updated: February 9, 2021 9:39:10 am
The Supreme Court Monday set aside the Centre’s decision to not reduce the minimum marks for admission to Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) courses for the academic year 2020-21 and directed that admission to vacant seats be conducted from among candidates who have taken the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) after lowering the percentile mark by 10.
Ruling on petitions filed by some students as well as some Andhra Pradesh colleges, a bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao and Krishna Murari said the government’s decision to not reduce the minimum marks “suffers from the vices of illegality and irrationality”.
The court did not agree with the Centre’s contention that reducing the minimum marks would lower the standards and pointed out that the government had reduced the marks for admission to super speciality courses last year as well as for AYUSH courses in the current year.
Under the regulations, the Central government can exercise its discretion to lower minimum marks only when sufficient number of candidates fail to secure minimum marks. The Centre had argued before the court that there are seven candidates available for each seat and, therefore, there is no need to lower the minimum marks.
However, the bench said that “this calculation… is without taking into account the fact that NEET (UG) 2020 is conducted for admission into different courses like MBBS, BDS, UG AYUSH and other medical courses. Admissions for UG AYUSH and other UG medical courses are included in the NEET for the first time from this year”.
The court also said that the Dental Council had recommended to the centre to reduce the cut off percentile, but the latter did not accept this.
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