The ordinance, tabled by the government against the verdict of the Supreme Court making NEET the only central examination for medical admissions this year, has been signed by the President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday. The ordinance would now allow the state boards to conduct their own medical entrance examination out of NEET for admission of candidates in MBBS and BDS degrees for this year.
The President signed that ordinance after the health ministry provided answers to all his questions regarding the NEET and the tabled ordinance. The ordinance had been sent to the President for approval on Saturday, The secretariat of the President was cautious this time around as it had to face a lot of trouble when the ordinance on Uttarakhand was overturned by the Supreme Court earlier this month. The secretariat issued some pointed queries to the health ministry and sought answers from them before signing the ordinance.
The signing of ordinance meant that the President has gone against the decision of the apex court which had directed the government, MCI and CBSE to hold NEET as one and only medical competitive exam from this year onwards. The President got briefed by the Union Health Minister J P Nadda on issues pertaining to the different state board competitive exams, syllabus of the different boards and matter of regional language. He was again briefed by the officials and legal advice was sought from the President’s office before signing the ordinance.
The Supreme Court decision was earlier objected by many state governments, as they were not happy of implementing the same from this very year. They had argued that this would affect the performance of state board students as they would not get enough time to prepare for the NEET syllabus and they wouldn’t be able to cope up with the language. The state board students would be on the loss, as they would not be able to prepare themselves in such a short span for such an important examination.
The plea from the state boards were rejected by the Supreme Court and this is when the government came up with the ordinance to keep NEET out from the state boards for this year. More than 15 states were against having NEET from this very year and they raised concerns over language, syllabus and lack of time for preparation.
As the ordinance is passed by the President, the students now do not have to undergo the phase II of NEET, which was scheduled to take place on 24 July, 2016. From the next year onwards, NEET would be the only medical examination for admission in MBBS and BDS courses throughout the country.