After meeting a parents’ delegation on Monday, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said he will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and request him to intervene in the National Eligibility and Entrance Test (NEET) issue to bring relief to students in Maharashtra.
At a meeting called by union health minister JP Nadda, the state government requested the Centre to admit students on the basis of the Maharashtra Common Entrance Test (MHT-CET), the state’s entrance examination for medical and dental courses, this year. State education minister Vinod Tawde also requested the Centre to promulgate an ordinance to halt the implementation of NEET from this year.
Last week the Supreme Court, while turning down appeals of several states, including Maharashtra, that were seeking permission to conduct their own medical admission examinations, had ruled that students would have to appear for NEET to seek admission to MBBS and BDS courses.
To request the government to come up with a solution, a delegation of parents met Fadnavis along with MNS chief Raj Thackeray, who said he had already had spoken with Modi over the phone and urged him to intervene.
Fadnavis termed the mandatory implementation of NEET from this year an “injustice to students”. He said, “Parents have asked us to request the Centre to intervene in the matter and hence I have decided to meet Prime Minister Modi and request him to intervene.”
He added that there is a big difference between the syllabuses of NEET and MH-CET (NEET’s syllabus is based on the CBSE board while MH-CET’s is based on the SSC and HSC boards). Thus, he said, it will be very difficult for students to prepare for NEET in just a month or so. He added that students preparing for NEET in Marathi would affected the most as the CBSE syllabus is not available in that language.
“We believe that the decision on NEET will bring injustice to students, especially those from rural Maharashtra, who will lose the chance to become doctors this year,” Fadnavis said.
Tawde, who was in New Delhi, also met human resource development minister Smriti Irani, union urban development minister Venkaiah Naidu and finance minister Arun Jaitley, and asked that states be allowed to conduct CETs this year.
“I have urged the central government to promulgate an ordinance to stop the compulsory implementation of NEET this year, which was positively heeded by the union health minister,” Tawde tweeted.
Meanwhile, Raj Thackeray said he had spoken with Modi on Sunday over the phone and urged him to intervene by promulgating an ordinance. He said he also cautioned the PM about student suicides, saying that thousands of students seeking admission to medical colleges will be forced to kill themselves just like farmers in the state if Modi does not intervene. He also commented on the mess over NEET, asking, “Who is running the country, courts or the government?”