The uncertainties surrounding the conduct of a common medical entrance exam have been laid to rest with President Pranab Mukherjee signing the controversial ordinance which exempts the State Governments from the requirements of conducting NEET for admission to under-graduate courses for the session 2016-2017.
President gave his nod to the ordinance after seeking detailed clarification from the Health Ministry on the scope of the executive order and on sound legal opinion.
Implication of the Ordinance
The Centre has laid the ordinance through amendments to Indian Medical Council Act, 1956.
As per the ordinance,
- NEET will be universal for both UG and PG admissions from the session 2017-2018
- Admission to Post-Graduate Medical courses will be conducted through NEET for the session 2016-2017
- State Governments have got a much-needed breather as they have the choice of conducting their own exam or NEET for filling 85% of Under Graduate Medical and Dental seats for the session 2016-2017. The remaining 15% seats will be filled through NEET by means of All India Counselling
The ordinance came days after the Supreme Court mandate which directed the conduct of NEET as the sole basis for admission to Medical and Dental seats for all Government and Private institutions this year. Several State Governments opposed NEET arguing that this would exempt them from the authority of regulating admissions to State Medical Colleges and private institutions under their jurisdiction.
The Centre faced opposition from many States and had to bring this ordinance after facing pressure from States.
Also Read : Reservation and Eligibility criteria in NEET
What is NEET?
NEET is a National Level Entrance exam conducted for admission to UG and PG Courses in Government and Private medical institutes.
Currently, there are at least 450 medical colleges spread over the country offering more than 52,000 seats with admission through nearly 80 different entrance exams.
There was a demand for a common platform for admission to both UG and PG courses to ensure economic use of resources.
A major breakthrough occurred in 2010 when the Centre introduced NEET but the Supreme Court passed a judgement in 2013 framing the test as ‘unconstitutional’.
However, in April 2016 Supreme Court gave its nod to NEET as a sole entry point for admission to UG and PG courses throughout the country.
Who is in, Who is out?
Seven States including Bihar, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Manipur, Odisha and union territory Chandigarh have agreed to conduct NEET for the session 2016-2017.
States including Karnataka, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Kerala and Tripura have got an exemption from NEET this year.
States including Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Assam, Punjab and West Bengal have the option of conducting their own exam or NEET for the session 2016-2017.
States like Tamil Nadu and Puducherry follow their own procedure for admitting students.
Union Health and Family Welfare Minister J P Nadda stated that the aim of the ordinance is to provide a firm Statutory Status to NEET making it as a sole basis for admission to UG and PG courses in medical/dental colleges. However, the state governments have been given a choice for conducting UG admissions for the session 2016-2017 in view of their difficulties.
NEET: Benefits and Shortcomings
- NEET serves as a common uniform platform for admission to all UG and PG medical and Dental courses across the country.
- Based on NEET score, the candidate can seek admission to different Universities
- It is an effective measure for preventing the selling of seats in the open market to candidates lacking the right aptitude
- It serves as a standard procedure for admission to all UG and PG courses thereby eliminating the chances of biased admission.
- State Board students feel that they would be at a disadvantage as the State Board syllabus is quite different and it would be difficult for them to compete with CBSE students
- Students feel that the introduction of NEET at the fag end of their preparation would amount to injustice and put undue pressure on them
Why are State Governments opposing NEET?
State Governments feel that the introduction of NEET would exempt them from the right of regulating admissions in institutes under their jurisdiction.
The Introduction of a common entrance exam is absolutely faultless as it would address the problem of institutions selling medical seats at astronomical prices to undeserving candidates.
However, the ground has to be prepared prior to the implementation of the common entrance exam.
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