NEW DELHI: In a move that provides great relief to lakhs of medical aspirants across the country, the Union Cabinet on Friday gave the go-ahead for an ordinance that would exempt certain state boards from the ambit of NEET for this academic year.
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The ordinance, which has been sent to President Pranab Mukherjee for approval, will benefit students studying in state boards of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Punjab. The move will partially overturn a Supreme Court verdict which mandated all admissions to medical colleges across the country to be covered under NEET starting this year.
The decision was taken as many states expressed their inability to conduct the entrance examinations this year. The states expressed concern as the examination was based on CBSE curriculum and would put students studying in state boards at a disadvantage. Later on Friday, Union Health Minister, J P Nadda clarified that the ordinance was meant only for certain states and the government had no plans to scrap NEET. He said that the second phase of the exams would take place as scheduled on July 24.
“Let me make it clear, NEET has been implemented and is in existence, first phase is over and second phase will take place on July 24,” he tweeted. “Government shares the same view as SC on NEET, just consulting procedures of implementation,” he said. Nadda’s statement came after centre’s decision evoked sharp responses from across the political spectrum.
Attacking the government on the ordinance, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said: “Modi government’s decision to defer NEET is conspiratorial submission to vested interests of private medical colleges lobby at the cost of students”. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi suggesting that the demands for overturning the SC order on NEET had got to do with many politicians running medical colleges of their own.
“We all know about the amount of corruption involved in admission to private medical colleges. It’s all about money. Meritorious students are sidelined and those with money are given admission,” Kejriwal wrote.
Meanwhile, sources clarified that exemption would applicable only in state government colleges and seats earmarked for government admission in private colleges.
Different states earmark anything between 12-15 per cent seats in various private medical colleges for state quota so that students from one state can get seat in another state. The remaining seats in such colleges are reserved for domicile students. Now with this ordinance, the remaining seats meant for domicile students will come under NEET.
Who pushed for it
The decision was taken as many states expressed their inability to conduct the entrance examinations this year. The states expressed concern as the examination was based on CBSE curriculum and would put students studying in state boards at a disadvantage