Is it going to Be Supreme Court Versus Union of India on this one?
New Delhi: The Government on Friday approved promulgation of an ordinance to keep state boards out of the ambit of the uniform medical entrance examination, the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), for one academic year.
The executive order 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 next phase of the exam is scheduled for 24 July.
Nearly 6.5 lakh students have already sat for the first phase of NEET held on 1 May. Once the ordinance is issued, students of state government boards will not have to sit for NEET on 24 July. They, however, will have to become part of the uniform entrance exam from next academic session, government sources clarified. The exam will be applicable for those applying for Central government and private medical colleges.
The states flagged various issues in the health ministers conference recently, including problems related to language and syllabus for students. They said the students affiliated to state boards will find it tough to appear for the uniform test as early as July. Health minister J.P. Nadda is likely to meet President Pranab Mukherjee to explain him about the need for the ordinance.
Hoever, the Centre’s bid to allow states to continue with their separate entrance tests for MBBS and BDS courses is likely to be challenged in the Supreme Court by an NGO. The NGO, Sankalp Charitable Trust which had earlier moved the apex court in support of the uniform medical entrance examination, said that it would challenge the ordinance, approved by the Union Cabinet, as soon as it is notified.
Advocate Amit Kumar, who had appeared for the NGO, said that the order of the Supreme Court can’t be circumvented by the government by bringing an ordinance. “There are multiple grounds on which we will be challenging the ordinance, once it is notified. The Centre during the hearing of the case had taken a stand before the Supreme Court that it has no difficulty in holding the NEET. Now it cannot just take a U-turn and allow state boards to be out of the ambit of the single common entrance test,” the lawyer said.