New Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday signed the Centre's Ordinance on uniform medical entrance examination (NEET) that keeps state boards out of its purview.
The presidential nod to the Centre's Ordinance or the executive order will now put on hold the common medical exam NEET for a year.
The President gave his consent after seeking more information and clarification on few points from the Union Health Ministry over its decision to bring an Ordinance on uniform medical entrance examination NEET that sought to keep state boards out of its purview.
This was conveyed to Union Health Minister JP Nadda who had met the President on Monday afternoon to brief him about the need for bringing the Executive Order.
The meeting lasted for more than half-an-hour and the minister reportedly briefed the President on three set of issues -- different exams of state boards, syllabi and regional languages.
The meeting between the President and the Health Minister was "satisfactory", the sources said.
The Ordinance was sent to the President on Saturday.
Nadda was to attend a global health summit in Geneva but had to cancel the trip to meet the President.
The Ordinance, cleared by the Union Cabinet earlier on Friday, is aimed at "partially" overturning a Supreme Court order which said all government colleges, deemed universities and private medical colleges would be covered under NEET.
The President has also sought the opinion of in-house legal experts on the Ordinance. The assent of the President is still awaited.
Clarifying that the exemption is only for the state government seats, government sources had said the state seats which are earmarked in the private medical colleges have also been exempted.
Different states earmark seats in various private medical colleges for state quota so that students from one state can get seats in another state.
The next phase of the exam is scheduled for July 24. Nearly 6.5 lakh students have already taken the medical entrance test in the first phase of NEET held on May 1.
Health Ministry sources said that seven states will take medical exams as per NEET while in six other states, around 4 lakh students have already taken the examinations.