Unfortunate politics is being played over the NEET issue, says JP Nadda

NEW DELHI(PTI): Severely condemning the ‘politics’ being played over the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), Union Health Minister JP Nadda on Sunday asserted that anyone purporting that the Centre was against the examination was grossly mistaken.

“NEET is an extremely sensitive matter and it is unfortunate that politics is being played over it. In the all-party meeting, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh raised three concerns of language, syllabus and the ongoing examinations of various subjects and the Centre is working on addressing those very issues itself,” Nadda told ANI.

Stressing that politics must not be played on the sensitive matter, as it is a purely academic and administrative issue, he added that the Centre had taken everyone on board in the decision making process, including state ministers and political parties.

Talking about the incoming allegations of how the Centre does not want the NEET exam to be applied which is why an ordinance was being brought in, Nadda stated that the government could not be against the exams as it was their very own initiative in the first place.

“NEET was implemented by the Centre and we remain committed to it. The 1st phase of NEET has already been implemented and the second phase examinations will be taking place on July 24. NEET is our initiative, so saying that we against it is nothing but plain politics,” he said.

Talking about his meeting with President Mukherjee regarding the matter tomorrow, the Union Minister added that he will try to answer every query the former had on his mind and would also put forth his own views. President Mukherjee earlier sought legal advice on the ordinance to keep state boards out of the ambit of uniform medical entrance examination for this year.

The ordinance, cleared by the Union Cabinet on Friday, is aimed at partially overturning a Supreme Court verdict which said that all government colleges, deemed universities and private medical colleges would be covered under NEET.

NEET to be applied in all Delhi medical colleges
Earlier today, the Delhi government decided that the examination will be applied in all medical colleges in the national capital. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal called on the President earlier today to not to sign the ordinance.

Kejriwal had earlier written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking him not to bring any order against the Supreme Court ruling on NEET, saying the students had welcomed the decision as it discouraged well endowed parents from making ‘donations’ to get their children admitted into reputed private medical colleges. However the Centre cleared the ordinance to postpone the exam by a year so that the students have enough time to prepare.

Even the Congress Party has slammed the government’s decision to postpone the implementation of the exam alleging that private medical colleges were being favoured over the students. The Supreme Court had earlier ruled that the students will have to appear for NEET starting this academic session to seek admission to any medical or dental colleges in the country.

More than 15 states were opposed to NEET and had raised issues like different syllabus and languages during the recent state health ministers’ meeting. The next phase of the exam is scheduled for July 24. Nearly 6.5 lakh students have already taken the medical entrance test in the first phase of NEET held on May 1. Once the ordinance is issued, students of state government boards will not have to sit for NEET on July 24.