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President okays
NEET ordinance

By Sanjiv Dube
NEW DELHI : On May 24 the President Mr Pranab Mukherjee signed the Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Ordinance, 2016 and the Dentists (Amendment) Ordinance, 2016 to give relief to states in holding National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) from next year.

The ordinances, cleared by the Union Cabinet on May 20, to “partially” modify Supreme Court order of May 9 directing all government medical/dental colleges, private medical/dental colleges and deemed universities to admit students from the merit list of National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE).

With the signing of the ordinance the students of State government boards will not have to sit for NEET on July 24, 2016. They, however, will have to become part of the uniform entrance exam from the next academic session.

The ordinances caused much anxiety among the students and college authorities as the President sought more and more information on the issue on Monday, the last day of his working, before leaving for a 4-day state visit to China on Tuesday.
 

 

 NEET : relief to state govts, pvt colleges stumped 

By Sanjiv Dube
NEW DELHI :
All state government seats in government Medical Colleges and private institutions have been exempted from the purview of National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for the current year, a beaming minister told reporters on May 24.

The Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Mr J P Nadda who was holding a press briefing after the promulgation of the Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Ordinance, 2016 and the Dentists (Amendment) Ordinance, 2016 signed by the President on May 24 morning said that "lakhs of students stand benefited by the Ordinances".

The minister said that the two ordinances have been 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 the year 2016-17 only, the state government seats shall be exempt from the purview of NEET regulations if the state government so opts.

Elaborating the Minister said that NEET was being implemented from the current year for all UG admissions in all private institution. He said the first phase was held on May 1 and the second phase will be held on July 24.

He added that since Tamil Nadu and Puducherry do not hold any admission test for medical and dental seats and instead admit students on the basis of marks obtained in Class XII examinations these states will have the option (this year only) to adopt their own procedure.

Nadda categorically clarified that the management quota seats shall be filled by the respective private colleges/associations of colleges and/or private universities/deemed universities through the NEET UG-2016 examination only, in all the States. He clarified that from next year starting with PG examination in December 2016, NEET will fully apply without any exemption.

“The purpose of the Ordinances is to provide a firm statutory status to the concept of Uniform Entrance Examination for all undergraduate and post graduate admissions in Medical/Dental Colleges while providing a relaxation to the State Governments in relation to only UG admissions for this year [2016-17] in view of their difficulties”, Nadda said.

He stated that the necessity of promulgating the Ordinances arose as the  Supreme Court is in vacation and both Houses of the Parliament had adjourned sine die on 13th May 2016. He further added that six states and one UT are already participating in the NEET this year, and the Ordinances will allow them as well as any other State which so opts to fill up their state government seats from NEET for 2016-17 UG admissions.

Nadda said that the exemption to the State Governments from NEET is only for this year. This was strongly requested for by the states at the meeting of the State Health Ministers held on May 16 where they cited the following reasons:

(i) State level examinations for admissions have already been conducted and students will have to appear for a second examination.

(ii) State examinations are also conducted in regional languages. It would be unfair to make all students take the examination in English/ Hindi, particularly when only two months are left for NEET phase II.

(iii) The syllabi for the State level examinations are different from the All India PMT, which is going to be the basis for NEET phase II exam.

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.

Of the 27,000-odd MBBS seats in private medical colleges, almost two-thirds are likely to be covered by the NEET.

Telangana, AP students need to take two test

HYDERABAD :
Unlike other states the students of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh will have to write two tests — Eamcet and NEET — to fulfil their ambition of a career in medicine. While Eamcet will form the basis for filling all seats in government colleges and 50 per cent convener quota in private medical colleges, NEET will be the qualifying exam for management quota seats in all private colleges.

While Neet is slated for July 24, the fresh date of TS Eamcet is yet to be announced. Students from AP, however, have been spared the twin exam worries because they have already cleared the Eamcet hurdle and now need to write only the Neet to get admissions under management category in various private colleges.

Although TS conducted its Eamcet on May 15, the authorities had announced that the second test held in the afternoon was not for filling medical and dental seats in view of the SC judgement making NEET mandatory for all states. However, the Centre’s unexpected move to promulgate the Ordinance pushed TS into a tight position.


Cabinet okays NEET ordinance

NEW DELHI : Bowing to states' pressure the Union cabinet decided on May 20 to bring in an Ordinance to grant relief to states and to partly modify the Supreme Court order on National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET).

The Supreme Court had on May 9 ordered for an all-India common medical/dental admission test the first phase of which was held on May 1 and the second one is due on July 24.

The Cabinet decision, the contents of which have not been made public, will be sent to the President to pass an executive order, setting aside the Apex Court's May 9 order on NEET.

The states have been opposing the NEET this year on grounds of logistical issues as well as regional differences in languages making NEET an unfair benchmark for students from state boards.

The Ordinance proposes to allow states to hold their own CET/PMT this year only. The motive is to defer the implementation of the NEET for states so as not to affect the CETs/PMTs organised by the states.

According to indications trickling out from Cabinet secretariat and the Health Ministry the ordinance will

  • grant one year time to states to hold their own CETs/PMTs;

  • the Central institutions will have to pick students from May 1 and July 24 NEET merit list and

  • all private medical/dental colleges and deemed universities will have to pick students from NEET.

Legal experts say the ordinance will certainly be challenged by private colleges because making special provision for states will trigger a number of legal issues.

Earlier this week, health ministers from 23 states had met the Union Health Minister JP Nadda on the issue and expressed their concern.

When asked about the ordinance Nadda said the government was not against NEET. “NEET has been implemented and it is in existence. First phase is over and the second phase of the exam will be held on July 24. Some states have raised certain issues and we are looking into it. A detailed clarification will be issued on Saturday ,“ he added.

The All India Pre Medical Test (AIPMT) is conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) but many states like Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir conduct their own exams.

Meanwhile Arvind Kejriwal, the Chief Minister of Delhi, tweeted that he had urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi not to bring an ordinance as it would send the message that "the government is with those who have black or untaxed money."

Mr Kejriwal said that "many leaders and lawmakers from many parties" run their own medical colleges and have their own reasons for opposing a common national test. Corruption in exams held in states was the reason the Supreme Court ordered NEET or National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test for the entire country.

Maharashtra state education minister Vinod Tawde termed the Centre’s decision as a “victory for all students”.

“Our aim was to relieve students from the state. The efforts of people from the state and lakhs of students from other states made it possible,” said Tawde.

“The 2,810 seats in 20 government-run medical institutes will be filled on the basis of MH-CET scores. But students applying for the 3,395 seats in private and deemed universities will have to appear for NEET this year,” said Dr Pravin Shingare, director of the Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER), Maharashtra.

'Medical mafia' wants ordinance to bypass NEET

By Academics-India desk
NEW DELHI :
A group of doctors and social activists has urged the government to resist pressure from 'medical mafia' who want to avoid implementation of Supreme Court's NEET order to earn a fast buck. 

“Private medical education has become a big business. Deferring NEET for one year will give sufficient time to the medical mafia to manipulate,” the doctors said in a statement.

On April 28 and then on May 2 the Supreme Court ruled that only one common examination – the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) – would enable students for admission to MBBS and BDS courses in medical colleges in the country in the current academic year.

The activists group, called National Coalition for Reforms and Restructuring of Medical Council of India, said that about 80 members of Parliament own, directly or indirectly, medical colleges in the country and they would be adversely affected by the recent Supreme Court judgements.

The powerful, moneyed lobby of these MPs are moving the government to bring in an ordinance to bypass the Supreme Court ruling that has made NEET mandatory for medical and dental college admissions, the group alleged.

A report published in The Telegraph, Calcutta on May 13 said quoting "highly placed sources in the government" that an all-party meeting may be convened soon to explore promulgation of an ordinance to restore the right of state governments and individual institutions to hold their own entrance tests this year.

Union Health Minister J.P. Nadda, the report said, is at present in poll-bound Kerala and is expected back next week. The government is likely to convene an all-party meeting after that, said the report datelined Delhi.

The activist group has condemned the government’s statement made in Lok Sabha on May 12 that it would request the Supreme Court to defer NEET-UG exam by a year.

“This is a pressure tactic by the private medical colleges and other interested parties who want the capitation fee to continue. It is well known that there are almost 80 MPs who have direct interest in private medical education. Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu instead of naming these members is succumbing to their pressures. It will be a sad day for deserving if any changed are now made,” a statement from the group formed last week in Delhi said.

Huge money

“The opposition is mainly because of the involvement of Rs 12,000 crore, which is in circulation for pre-admission procedures. If the government comes out with an ordinance, we will seek an appointment with the President and request him not to sign the ordinance,” group president G S Grewal from Punjab Medical Council said.

As against this the college owners' lobby of MPs, cutting across party line, has become increasingly active to precipitate a solution in their favour by hook or crook. April 28 order of the Supreme Court in Sankalp Charitable Trust case and its reiteration on May 9 and an equally pungent 5-judge Constitution bench decision in Modern Dental College and Research Centre and others case has sealed the fate of profiteering politicians. An ordinance to bypass the Supreme Court decision on NEET is their only hope.

The Supreme Court had ruled on April 28 that starting this academic session, students would have to appear for NEET to seek admission into any medical or dental college in the country. It refused appeals by states and private medical colleges to put off the exam till next year and later ruled that only NEET would be valid for admissions into MBBS and BDS courses.

Until now, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) used to hold the All India Pre-Medical Test (AIPMT) for admission to 15 per cent of seats in medical colleges except in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Jammu and Kashmir. For the remaining seats, some states and individual institutions used to hold their own entrance tests in English and regional language. A few states, such as Tamil Nadu, have been selecting students on the basis of their Class XII marks.

 

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