President signs ordinance, NEET for all pvt colleges

States can have own entrance exams

President signs ordinance, NEET for all pvt colleges
A bulk of the MBBS seats in private medical colleges will be filled up through NEET in 2016, the health ministry announced on Tuesday.

This comes after President Pranab Mukherjee gave his assent to the ordinance. A gazette notification on promulgation of the ordinance by the President was issued on Tuesday evening.

The ordinance on the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) was promulgated to exempt states, which wished to go ahead with their own examinations in 2016, Union Health Minister J P Nadda said. From the next academic year, there would be one common entrance test, he said. “All private institutions and medical colleges will come under NEET in 2016,” he said.

Health Ministry sources told DH that of the 27,000-odd MBBS seats in private medical colleges, almost two-thirds are likely to be covered by the NEET.

The only exemption for private medical colleges will be the state quota seats. A percentage of seats in private medical colleges is reserved for the state quota. These seats will also be exempted from the NEET in 2016-17 and filled up from the state's own tests.

So far, five states – Karnataka, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Kerala and Tripura — have conducted their own entrance examinations for MBBS courses. They would be exempted from NEET this year.

Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur, Rajasthan, Odisha, Chandigarh and Bihar, on the other hand, have decided to go ahead with the NEET.

Seven states – Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Punjab – have deferred their entrance exams because of the confusion over NEET. “Its up to them now to decide if they would join the NEET or continue with their own test,” Nadda said.

Since Tamil Nadu and Puducherry do not conduct entrance examinations for medical and dental colleges, they will follow their usual procedure of  admitting students on the basis of Class XII board marks in 2016.

Before departing for China, Mukherjee signed the ordinance after Health Ministry officials answered his queries. Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi was at the President's Secretariat early on Tuesday to respond to clarifications sought by Mukherjee.

Accordingly, the Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Ordinance, 2016 and The Dentists (Amendment) Ordinance, 2016 are being promulgated to amend the Indian Medical Council Act 1956 and Dentists Act, 1948 respectively to provide for a uniform entrance examination for undergraduate and post graduate admissions with a proviso that for UG admission for 2016-17 only, the state government seats (both in government and private medical colleges) shall be exempt from the purview of NEET regulations if the state government so opts.

The exemptions were given on three grounds – (i) states where the test was conducted, NEET would mean another test for students (ii) state examinations are given in regional languages and it would be unfair to ask students to give another examination in less than two months in Hindi or English and (iii) the syllabi for the state level examinations are different from All India PMT, which would be the basis for NEET-II.

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