Union Health Minister JP Nadda met President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday to explain the rationale behind taking the ordinance route to keep state boards out of the ambit of uniform medical entrance examination, NEET, for 2016.
After his ministry was asked by the President to explain the reasons for taking the ordinance route, Nadda called on Mukherjee in the afternoon to offer clarifications, official sources said on Sunday.
Mukherjee is leaving for China on Tuesday. The ordinance, cleared by the Union Cabinet 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 the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET).
The President has also sought the opinion of in-house experts on the ordinance. Clarifying that the exemption is only for the state government seats, official sources had said that state seats which are earmarked in the private medical colleges have also been exempted.
Different states earmark anywhere between 12-15 per cent seats in various private medical colleges for state quota so that students from one state can get seats in another state. The remaining seats in such colleges are reserved for domicile students. After the promulgation of the ordinance, the remaining seats meant for domicile students will come under NEET.
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.
They, however, will have to become part of the uniform entrance exam from next academic session, the sources said. The exam will be applicable for those applying for Central government and private medical colleges.
They contended the students affiliated to state boards will find it tough to appear for the uniform test as early as July and such students will be at a loss compared to those who from the central board.
The Supreme Court had ruled the students would have to appear for NEET from this academic session itself for admissions to medical and dental colleges across the country.