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President of India has issued ordinances partly nullifying the orders of the Supreme Court of India regarding NEET exam for entrance to medical and dental colleges.

The ordinances amend the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 and the Dentists Act, 1948. These ordinances provide for a uniform entrance examination –  NEET for Undergraduate and Post Graduate admissions. However the ordinances have come with a proviso that for the UG admission for the year 2016-17, the government seats in both government and private medical colleges shall be exempt from the purview of NEET regulations if the State Government so opts.

Ordinances carry non-obstinate clauses stating:

Providing that notwithstanding any judgment or order of any court, the provisions of this section shall not apply in relation to the uniform entrance examination at the undergraduate level for the academic year 2016-2017 conducted in accordance with any regulations made under this Act in respect of State Government seats (whether in Government medical college or in a private medical college) where such State has not opted for such examination.

The Union Health Minister JP Nadda has said that the exemption to the state governments from NEET is only for a year. He said that this was strongly requested by the States at the meeting of the State Health Ministers held on 16 May 2016.

A press release by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said:

Shri 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 even for this year. He also said that from next year starting with PG examination in December 2016, NEET will fully apply without any exemption.

Regarding the reasons for the ordinances, the release stated:

[Minister] stated that the necessity of promulgating the Ordinances arose since the Hon. Supreme Court is in vacation presently and both Houses of the Parliament had adjourned sine-die by 13th May 2016.

Ordinances can be read here and here.

Mohit Singh

Mohit Singh

Mohit Singh is an advocate practising at the Supreme Court of India.

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