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02 June 2016 K2_CATEGORY IAS Blog

BACKGROUND

  • The National Eligibility cum Entrance Test is envisaged as a single entrance examination for MBBS, BDS and post graduate (MS/MD) courses throughout the country
  • Applicable for both government and private medical colleges
  • NEET-UG replaced the All India Pre Medical Test (AIPMT) and all individual MBBS exams conducted by states or colleges themselves.
  • NEET was initially proposed from 2012 onwards. It got deferred by a year. Later, the Supreme Court of India quashed the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for admissions into all medical and dental colleges on 18 July 2013. The apex court ruled that the Medical Council of India cannot conduct a unified examination.
  • However, it was restored on April 11 2016, after a five-judge Constitution bench recalled the earlier verdict and allowed the Central Government and the Medical Council of India (MCI) to implement the common entrance test till the court decides afresh on its validity.

Advantages of a single entrance examination

  • Common, uniform platform for medical entrance for all undergraduate medical, dental and postgraduate courses throughout the country
  • No difference in syllabus across India. Hence, all MBBS graduates will have a uniform syllabus.
  • Checks the corruption associated with donations and kickbacks for medical college seats .
  • Convenience for students: A student can appear for a single exam and apply across India with same score
  • Facilitates student mobility across regions
  • However, a number of Indian states such as Andhra Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Telangana and Tamil Nadu opposed the same

Grounds of opposition

  • Education is a subject in state list
  • Would denude the power of states to regulate admissions to institutions run by them as well as private institutions under their jurisdiction.
  • The syllabus in states’ examination is quite different from syllabus proposed by Medical Council of India(MCI) for NEET
  • Students in Tamil Nadu who seek admission to MBBS course are admitted on the basis of their 12th standard final examination marks. A similar criterion is followed in Kerala as well. These States believe that there’s a huge difference, in terms of content, in the State and Central Board’s syllabus.
  • States believe that it would adversely affect the interests of students particularly from weaker sections and rural areas

SUPREME COURT DECISION

  • SC heard a petition from MCI. Supreme Court suddenly decided that the NEET should be the sole basis for medical and dental college admissions from this year onwards.
  • the apex court gave a green signal to a single common medical entrance test just before two days of the All India Pre-Medical/Pre-Dental Test (AIPMT), which is currently considered as NEET Phase 1.
  • For the academic year 2016-17, the SC agreed on holding the NEET in two phases. For the students who did not appear in the first phase of examination, AIPMT examination will be considered as NEET 1 and NEET 2.
  • Also, private colleges would not be allowed to conduct separate exams for medical admissions

ORDINANCE

  • As per the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test ordinance, all postgraduate (PG) admissions will be done through NEET this year. However, for undergraduate (UG) courses, an exemption has been made for ‘State quota’ seats in government medical colleges and private institutions for this academic session.
  • States now have the option of either conducting their own exam or be part of the NEET to fill 85% of the Under Graduate (UG) medical and dental seats. 15% of the remaining seats will be filled through NEET route by all India counselling.

Examining NEET-

  • Clearly the Examination is currently titled towards CBSE/NCERT syllabus. This might be a problem for students from State boards and rural areas.
  • Hence, a common syllabus must first be arrived at and enforced before moving into a common examination

WAY AHEAD

  • The idea of a common medical entrance examination is correct in intent
  • However, blind imposition without preparing the grounds with a common syllabus and making sudden changes in examinations determining career path for students is indeed incorrect.
  • it is executive decision and must not be brought about by judicial orders. The executive must be allowed to prepare a common ground for NEET and iron out all the implementation issues.
  • Education is a state subject. Hence, states need to be brought on board by addressing their apprehensions regarding regional disparities in syllabus and linguistic diversities.
02 June 2016 K2_CATEGORY IAS Blog

Introduction:The article talks about the growing strategic ties of India and Iran and its importance in the region.

Topics:General Studies, Paper-II

  • Signing of the Chabahar port deal is strategic move which will lead to building up of strategic close relationship with Iran and Central Asia.
  • India’s investment of $500m for the trade transport corridor which would entirely bypass Pakistan, would also help it to directly compete with China’s growing influence in the region.
  • Taken as a whole, the Chabahar agreement represents an open door towards more future cooperation on issues such as terrorism, security, energy, trade, culture etc.
  • In future, Iran will emerge as not only an important supplier of energy, but also as a key regional player in Central Asia and the Near East.
  • That is why Iranian President Hassan Rouhani rightly proclaimed that “the agreement is not only an economic document but political and regional too.”
The Historical Ties:
  • India and Iran have had long and close cultural links, and their ancient and modern histories have been intertwined.
  • Since Indian independence, the relations have been essentially peaceful, friendly and empathic. They have turned more fruitful and productive after the Iranian revolution of 1979, the war in Afghanistan and the tense Iranian-Pakistani ties.
  • Furthermore, Iran’s non-ideological approach toward India, after the election of the reformist president Mohammad Khatami, has contributed to the political and economic rapprochement between the two countries.
  • Interestingly, expanding strategic relations with India have had the support of all political factions in the Iranian nomenclature
  • The Islamic Republic has also kept its distance from Muslim-related issues in India, while promising proactive help to India in fighting al Qaeda and other forms of Islamist jihadism.
  • The first step in Indian-Iranian regional cooperation was taken during PM AB Vajpayee’s time with signing of the New Delhi Declaration which laid out the principles of cooperation in defence, including the training of Iranian military personnel by India.
  • The current bilateral trade between the two countries is about $14bn, while Indian exports to Iran were around $4.2bn in 2014.
  • India’s economic progress and its global ambitions as a full-time player in international affairs have contributed to Iran’s interest in the country as a way to challenge US global hegemony.
  • Iran, however, felt betrayed by India’s decision to vote in favour of sending its nuclear dossier to the UN Security Council in September 2006.
  • It is important to note that Iran, known for its anti-Israeli and anti-American point of view, has been extremely accommodative and understanding of India’s friendship and economic cooperation with both these countries.
  • Therefore, despite their disappointments, Iranian authorities have continued to stress their interest in expanding their political and economic ties with India. This is why Iran suggested building a pipeline to bring its LNG to India.
  • But Iran’s vital desire on all India-Iran projects, the Modi government’s new Middle East policy and its decision to capitalise on business opportunities provided by the Islamic republic, have turned the Chabahar port as the point of origin for the proposed Iran-India pipeline.
  • As such, there are valid reasons to agree with the fact that the Chabahar deal is also a response to China’s pursuit of a port in Pakistan’s Gwadar region.
  • With the lifting of western sanctions, Iran is once again considered as a very resourceful country with greater political stability than many of its neighbours. It is also now recognised to have the largest combined oil and gas reserves in the world.
  • What India has achieved in regard to Iran through diplomacy and complexity management, rather than threats, sanctions and demonisation, is to understand the Islamic republic as a vital bridge between East and East, and as the most stable, safe and inviting stop along the Silk Road.
  • Unlike what many might think, this would not have been possible without the commitment of both parties to constructive engagement and their mutual initiative for a regional dialogue.

Question: Diplomacy can achieve what threats and sanctions cannot. The relationship between Iran and world is a great example of that. Discuss. Also highlight the impact of growing ties between india and Iran in the region.

Suggested Approach:

  1. Strained relationship between Iran and US mainly and the sanctions imposed.
  2. The deal signed by P5+1 and Iran through diplomacy.
  3. Impact of growing India-Iran ties on the region.

Link: http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/india-iran-chabahar-port-deal-narendra-modi-2829537/

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