Govt clears or­di­nance to de­fer med en­trance test

Or­di­nance to en­able states, in­sti­tutes to hold own tests this year

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - HT Cor­re­spon­dent let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

NEW DELHI: States might be al­lowed to con­tinue with their med­i­cal en­trance tests this year fol­low­ing con­cerns that a com­mon na­tional ex­am­i­na­tion hurts ru­ral stu­dents be­cause of no re­gional lan­guage op­tions and the widely vary­ing syl­labi of dif­fer­ent boards.

The Union cab­i­net ap­proved on Fri­day an or­di­nance that par­tially by­passed the Supreme Court or­der man­dat­ing a Na­tional Eli­gi­bil­ity-cum-En­trance Test (NEET) and ex­empted state gov­ern­ment ex­am­i­na­tions from the frame­work for a year.

If the or­di­nance is passed, it will likely be chal­lenged in the top court.

“The cab­i­net has given an opin­ion. Lat­est by to­mor­row or day af­ter, we will come to a con­clu­sion,” Union health min­is­ter JP Nadda tweeted.

Over 650,000 can­di­dates took the first phase of the NEET on May 1 for ad­mis­sion to mostly cen­tral gov­ern­ment col­leges for un­der­grad­u­ate and post­grad­u­ate med­i­cal and den­tal cour­ses.

The sec­ond phase — which was to de­cide ad­mis­sion to around 85% of In­dia’s 40,000-odd med­i­cal seats — is sched­uled for July 24.

This phase was set to cover mostly pri­vate and state gov­ern­ment med­i­cal seats.

Health min­istry sources said pri­vate col­lege seats ear­marked by state gov­ern­ments will also be ex­empted. Dif­fer­ent states set aside any­thing be­tween 12 to

15% seats un­der the state quota.

“Con­cerns of state govts & lakhs of as­pir­ing med­i­cal stu­dents re­gard­ing NEET be­ing ad­dressed,” tweeted Nadda.

On April 11, the Supreme Court or­dered a sin­gle med­i­cal test, ben­e­fit­ing as­pi­rants who

jug­gle clash­ing exam sched­ules and dif­fer­ing ad­mis­sion norms by pri­vate col­leges.

The NEET was to re­place a patch­work sys­tem where sev­eral states hold their own med­i­cal tests. The na­tional test would be con­ducted by the Cen­tral

Board of Se­condary Ed­u­ca­tion in English and Hindi.

But about 15 states urged the Cen­tre to post­pone the na­tional test as it clashed with state-board ex­am­i­na­tion pro­cesses.

CON­TIN­UED ON P5

RE­LATED RE­PORTS, P2

“Grate­ful to Hon @naren­dramodi ji & GoI for post­pon­ing #NEET by a year! It has brought re­lief to lakhs of stu­dents.” DEVENDRA FADNAVIS, Ma­ha­rash­tra CM, tweeted af­ter the Union cab­i­net de­ci­sion

BHUSHAN KOYANDE

Stu­dents cel­e­brate the Cen­tral gov­ern­ment’s de­ci­sion with Ma­ha­rash­tra ed­u­ca­tion min­is­ter Vinod Tawde, in Mum­bai on Fri­day.

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