Union health minister JP Nadda is expected to meet President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday afternoon to explain the rationale behind taking the ordinance route to defer participation of state boards in the common entrance test — National eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) — for a year.
Mukherjee has sought an explanation for the reasons behind bringing in the ordinance against the Supreme Court decision on making participation mandatory for all medical colleges — state, deemed universities and private colleges — to admit students from the academic year 2016-17.
The ordinance, cleared by the Union Cabinet on Friday, is aimed at partially overturning the Supreme Court’s April 11 order that paved the way for the Medical Council of India (MCI) to conduct NEET this year.
The court ordered a single medical test, benefiting aspirants who juggle clashing exam schedules and differing admission norms by private colleges. The test was allowed to be held in two phases — the first phase was conducted on May 1 and the second phase is scheduled for July 24.
The President has reportedly also sought the opinion of in-house and legal experts on the ordinance. If it is passed, states will be allowed to continue with their entrance tests this year. Health ministry sources said private college seats earmarked by the state government will also be exempted. Different states set aside anything between 12 to 15% seats under the state quota.
States were allowed exemption for a year, following concerns that a common national examination hurts rural students because of no vernacular language options and widely varying syllabi of different boards.
Representatives from 18 states met Nadda last Monday and informed that NEET would put non-CBSE candidates at a disadvantage as there was too little time left for students to bridge the difference between state board syllabi and the central curriculum.