President Pranab Mukherjee has sought clarity on NEET ordinance and its legal aspects before signing the special order cleared by union cabinet on May 20, 2016. Health Minister J P Nadda is likely to meet the president today to clarify Centre’s approach on deferring NEET by a year.
According to media reports, the President had sought legal advice on the matter and also asked the government to explain why the ordinance was brought in such a hurry.
Earlier, the union cabinet had cleared the special order which puts state-level medical entrance tests out of NEET ambit to overrule the Supreme Court order on implementing NEET from current academic year. Supreme Court on May 9 had ruled that NEET will be the only medical entrance exam for admission to state government colleges and private and deemed medical institutes from the academic year 2016-17.
If the ordinance comes to effect, states will be allowed to continue with their entrance exam for this year.
The government had decided to bring the ordinance after many states and political parties raised concerns on different aspects of NEET implementation. During a consultation meeting with union health minister, majority of the states had cited reasons such as different syllabus and language as deterrents for states towards aligning with NEET.
The first phase of NEET was conducted on May 1. The second phase is scheduled to be conducted on July 24, 2016. Nearly 6.5 lakh candidates have appeared in phase 1 test.
First published on May 23, 2016
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