The National Eligibility and Entrance Test (NEET), which is the common entrance test for admission to medical colleges, will be deferred by a year amid protests by states. An ordinance or special executive order was used by the Centre today to hold in abeyance the Supreme Court’s ruling last month which stated that students across the nation must take only one common exam.
Government sources have been silent about the move since it requires President Pranab Mukherjee’s approval.
A petition was filed against the move in the Supreme Court as the news of the Centre’s decision came out.
Arvind Kejriwal, the Chief Minister of Delhi, also tweeted that he had urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi not to bring such an ordinance: “I sincerely urge Modi ji not to bring any ordinance to overturn SC order on NEET.”
Protests have been taking place against NEET (National Eligibility and Entrance Test) by State governments, which were favored by the Supreme Court because of complaints about corruption in exams held by states.
However, several states including Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra opposed the implementation of a common entrance test this year following the Supreme Court order.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi summoned together the second cabinet meeting within a week to discuss the issue, in reaction to the objections.
Sources say the decision to take the ordinance route came after Health Minister JP Nadda held a series of meetings with state health ministers on the controversy.
Leaders of six political parties including the Congress were also met by Finance minister Arun Jaitley.
So far over 6 lakh students have appeared for the first phase of NEET on May 1. The second phase is on July 24.
The top court had earlier turned down a clutch of petitions seeking permission to hold separate admission tests for medical colleges.