The future of these medical aspirants have been hanging in a balance ever since the Supreme Court had issued a ruling that National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) should be implemented throughout the country from this year.
As per the order no states will be able to conduct their individual state level medical entrance examinations for the admission of candidates in undergraduate medical courses in the state run medical colleges. The students from various states would face difficulties to pick up the NEET syllabus within a short period of time.
Hence various states including West Bengal had urged the Union Health Minister to consider the matter and requested him to allow the state-level entrance exam for this year only.
Considering the gravity of the situation and the future of the candidates in the states the Centre had issued an ordinance on last Friday partially overturning the Supreme Court ruling. The ordinance was sent to the President of India for his signature.
The President of India Pranab Mukherjee had sought the clarification from the centre the purpose of the ordinance and sought information in this regard. Union Health Minister JP Nadda on Monday met the President of India and apprised him of the ordinance exempting the medical aspirants from the state from appearing in NEET for admission in various state government owned medical colleges.
It has been learnt from sources that President Mukherjee is convinced by the explanation given by Nadda on the urgency behind the ordinance. Mukherjee however wanted to clarify some points before giving his signature.
The ordinance amending the Indian Medical Council Act 1956 says that NEET will be universal from the next academic year for the admission of candidates to MBBS and BDS courses in all the state run medical colleges as well. Relaxation has been granted for one year only to state governments in order to address their concerns over difference in the syllabi of the CBSE and state board, and difference in the language in which the central test is held.
It may be here mentioned that NEET would implemented this year for the admission of candidates to Centre owned institutions and the private medical colleges in the state. The ordinance does not have any bearing on NEET-UG phase 2, which will be held on 24 July as directed by the Supreme Court in its May 9 order. The date may be slightly postponed in the light of the new developments.
Meanwhile, the West Bengal government and the West Bengal Joint Entrance Examination Board is waiting for the ordinance to be promulgated following which they will take the final decision of holding the state medical entrance examinations. Sources in the state joint entrance board said that exam may happen in June 19.