New Delhi: The Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Ordinance 2016, signed by President Pranab Mukherjee today states that irrespective of any court order, states will be free to hold medical entrance exams for this academic year.
The Ordinance which was issued this evening in the form of a gazette notification states that "...notwithstanding any judgement or order of any court, the provision of this section shall not apply in relation to the uniform entrance examination at the undergraduate level...
"...for the academic year 2016-17 conducted in accordance with any regulations made under this Act in respect of state government seats (whether in govt medical colleges or in private medical colleges) where such state has not opted for such examinations."
The Ordinance was clearly referring to a recent recent Supreme Court verdict which said that second phase of NEET will be held on July 24, and will be applicable to all government and private medical colleges.
At the same time, the Ordinance makes it clear that there will be a "uniform entrance examination to all medical institutions at the undergraduate level and post-graduate level through such designated authority...
"...in Hindi, English and such other languages and in such manner as may be prescribed and the designated authority shall ensure the conduct of uniform entrance examination in the aforesaid manner," the notification said.
The ordinance exempts certain state boards from the ambit of National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) for a year.
The exempted states include Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Punjab.
Meanwhile, Union Health Minister J P Nadda addressing a press conference on Tuesday, said while states will be able to hold the undergraduate exams, the postgraduate exams to be held in December will be under NEET.
The central government was committed to implementing NEET but the states expressed their concerns which had to be addressed, Nadda said.
“State governments wanted exemption and the issues were related to parity of syllabus and option of giving exam in regional languages,” Nadda said.
“After due consultation, we came out with an ordinance which provides NEET a statutory basis and where we give state governments an option to conduct examination and those who have conducted exams to go forward in that direction,” he said
The Union Cabinet cleared the Ordinance hours after both Houses of Parliament were prorogued by the President on May 19.
As per law, at least one of the House of Parliament should not be in session to enable the government to come out with an Ordinance.