Nadda to brief Prez on NEET ordinance tomorrow

New Delhi, May 22 : Amid the ongoing controversy over the decision to clear an ordinance to keep state boards out of National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) ambit this year, Union Health Minister J.P. Nadda will brief President Pranab Mukherjee on the issue on Monday. President Mukherjee earlier sought legal advice on the ordinance to keep state boards out of the ambit of uniform medical entrance examination for this year. 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. Earlier today, the state government decided that the examination will be applied in all medical colleges in the national capital. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal called on the President earlier today 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. However the Centre cleared the ordinance to postpone the exam by a year so that the students have enough time to prepare. Even the Congress Party has slammed the government’s decision to postpone the implementation of the exam alleging that private medical colleges were being favoured over the students. 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.