Centre’s NEET ordinance get President Pranab Mukherjee’s nod

New Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday signed the central government’s ordinance exempting states from holding the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test for undergraduate medical and dental admissions (NEET-UG) this year.

President Mukherjee had earlier sought more information from the Health Ministry over the decision to bring the ordinance on NEET.

Union Health Minister JP Nadda had yesterday met the President to apprise him of the ordinance.

Nadda – who had to cancel a visit to Geneva to attend a conference – is expected to meet the President again to resolve some fresh queries that have come up.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal called on the President yesterday to not to sign the ordinance.

Kejriwal had earlier written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking him not to bring any order against the Supreme Court ruling on NEET, saying the students had welcomed the decision as it discouraged well endowed parents from making ‘donations’ to get their children admitted into reputed private medical colleges.

The ordinance, cleared by the Union Cabinet on Friday, is aimed at partially overturning a Supreme Court verdict which said all government colleges, deemed universities and private medical colleges would be covered under NEET.

The Supreme Court had earlier ruled that the students will have to appear for NEET starting this academic session to seek admission to any medical or dental colleges in the country.

More than 15 states were opposed to NEET and had raised issues like different syllabus and languages during the recent state health ministers’ meeting.

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.

Once the ordinance is issued, students of state government boards will not have to sit for NEET on July 24.