Cabinet clears order to delay NEET for a year

New Delhi, May 20: The government today cleared an ordinance, or an executive order, to defer the implementation of NEET or the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test – a common test for medical and dental courses – for state governments and their institutions. The deferment will be meant for this academic year.

Centre’s decision to postpone the exam came after a cabinet meeting today. The ordinance will now be sent to President Pranab Mukherjee for his approval.

The exam, however, will be applicable for those applying for Central government and private management institutions under the management quota.
The decision comes after state governments asked the Centre to consider the stress the students will face. On Monday, two rounds of hectic meetings were held to build consensus before taking the Ordinance route.

First, Union Health Minister JP Nadda held meetings with health ministers of 14 states. Another meeting was later held between leaders of the Congress, the INLD, Left and PDP and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

So far 6.5 lakh students have already sat for the first phase of NEET held on May 1. The next phase of the exam is scheduled for July 24.

Last month, the Supreme Court said that students need to take only one common entrance test, the NEET, for entry to medical colleges, following a large number of complaints about corruption in a situation where all state governments and private medical colleges held their own exams.

But after the court’s order, several states — including Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu – had said the implementation of the common entrance test should be deferred by a year.