The Christian Medical College in Vellore, among the top varsities in its field in Tamil Nadu, has suspended admissions to undergraduate and super specialty courses for 2017-2018, The Hindu reported on Wednesday. The college said the decision was made as it was unable to implement its admission process after the Supreme Court refused to exempt Tamil Nadu from the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test.

This year, the college will admit only one student in the undergraduate course under the Defence quota. One other student has been admitted to a super specialty course based on a Supreme Court order, The Times of India reported. The other 99 seats in the Christian Medical College’s undergraduate programme and 61 in super specialty courses will not be filled.

The Christian Medical College has its own admission model – a special test and an interview. It had already finished its counselling process this year by the time the Centre asked it to carry out single window counselling.

“We want to run the course, but our hands are tied,” Council Secretary Thomas Sameul Ram told The Hindu. “Ours is a system that has been recognised and even commended by several judgments as fair and non-exploitative.”

The college has filed petitions in the Supreme Court to allow it to conduct its own admission process. The apex court is expected to decide the validity of the plea in October.

The Neet controversy

Medical college admissions across India are given on the basis of Neet scores. However, students from the state and the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam-led Tamil Nadu government have been opposing the examination. They say the test – based on the Central Board of Secondary Education – would harm the admission prospects of students from the state board.

On July 22, Tamil Nadu Opposition Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam had said that Neet puts social justice in danger. DMK Working President MK Stalin had said that Neet had ruined the dreams of medical aspirants in Tamil Nadu.

On August 22, the Supreme Court ruled that medical colleges in the state will have to admit students based on their Neet results or those of a common entrance exam.