New Delhi: Decks were cleared on Tuesday for admissions to state government medical and dental colleges with two ordinances exempting them from Supreme Court-ordered single All India entrance exam NEET for this year being promulgated after President Pranab Mukherjee gave his assent.
Ending the uncertainty faced by lakhs of medical aspirants, Mukherjee signed the Ordinances before he embarked on his China visit this morning after he had raised queries on the measure that was cleared by the Union Cabinet on Friday. A gazette notification on promulgation of the Ordinances by the President was issued this evening.
The states now have the option of either conducting their own exam or be part of the NEET to fill 85 per cent of the Under Graduate (UG) medical and dental seats. 15 per cent of the remaining seats will be filled through NEET route by all India counselling.
Union Health Minister J P Nadda while giving details of the Ordinance, which, he said gave a "firm statutory status" to the concept of Uniform Entrance Examination, however, made it very clear that all private medical colleges and deemed universities will come under the ambit of National Eligibility cum Entrance Test(NEET).
However, for PG courses, the exam will be held under NEETfor 2017-18 session, in December this year.
The Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Ordinance, 2016 and The Dentists (Amendment) Ordinance, 2016 have been promulgated to amend the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 and Dentists Act, 1948 respectively, according to the gazette notification.
The Ordinances partially overturn a Supreme Court verdict which ordered that all government colleges, deemed universities and private medical colleges would be covered under NEET from this academic year(2016-17) itself.
Nadda said that the necessity of promulgating the Ordinances arose as the Supreme Court is presently in vacation while both the Houses of Parliament had been adjourned sine- die.
Allaying apprehensions that the Centre is trying to defer NEET through the Ordinance route, Nadda said that NEET is already implemented and the second phase will be held on July 24.
"The purpose of the Ordinance is to provide a firm statutory status to the concept of Uniform Entrance Examination for all undergraduate and post graduate admissions in medical or dental colleges while providing a relaxation to the state governments in relation to only UG admissions for this year [2016-17] in view of their difficulties," he told reporters.
Mukherjee gave his assent after Health Ministry officials gave anwsers to queries sought by him.
Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi was at the President's Secretariat early this morning along with the top ministry officials to respond to clarifications sought by Mukherjee on the NEET issue.
"All private institutions and medical colleges will come under the ambit of NEET. The state governments will get an option to either conduct their own exam or go for NEET to fill UG seats.
"The states will have an option. Approximately five states have undertaken their test. 6.5 lakh candidates have appeared in various state exams. 6.25 lakh have appeared in NEET 1," Nadda said.