President signs ordinance keeping state boards out of NEET this year

President Pranab Mukherjee has given his ascent to the ordinance to keep state boards out of the common entrance test (NEET) for MBBS and dental courses for the current academic year.

The President promulgated the ordinance this morning, providing a big relief to confused students amidst reports of deferring of NEET for the present.

President Mukherjee had raised some queries over the ordinance and health minister J P Nadda had briefed him on three sets of issues - different exams of state boards, syllabi and regional languages. Health ministry officials have addressed all the queries raised by the President, official sources said.

The President queried the health ministry on the reason for taking the ordinance route to keep state boards out of the ambit of the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET).

Clarifying that the exemption is only for the state government seats, Nadda has said that the seats which are earmarked in the private medical colleges for respective state governments have also been exempted.

The states had flagged various issues in the health ministers conference recently, including problems related to language and syllabus for students.

The exam will be applicable for those applying for Central government and private medical colleges.

Once the ordinance is issued, students of state government boards will not have to sit for NEET on 24 July this year. They, however, will have to become part of the uniform entrance exam from the next academic session.

Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi was at the President's Secretariat early this morning along with top officials of the health ministry to respond to clarifications sought by the President on the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET).

The ordinance, cleared by the union cabinet, would give partial relief to states by 'partially' overturning a Supreme Court order which said all government colleges, deemed universities and private medical colleges would be covered by NEET.

The President, who is scheduled to leave for China today, has also sought the opinion of in-house legal experts on the ordinance.