Pranab Mukherjee seeks legal advice on NEET ordinance

A day after the Cabinet cleared an ordinance aimed at partially negating a Supreme Court judgment and to keep state governments’ exams out of the ambit of National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET), President Pranab Mukherjee Saturday sought legal advice on the ordinance.

Mukherjee is also likely to seek some clarification from the Centre. Sources said the President has sought legal advice on Constitutionality of the ordinance.

The ordinance is aimed at “partially” overturning a Supreme Court verdict, which said all government colleges, deemed universities and private medical colleges would be covered under NEET. The decision of the NDA government has drawn criticism from Congress and AAP.

Clarifying that the exemption is only for state government seats, sources in the government said state seats earmarked in private colleges have also been exempted. More than 15 states were opposed to NEET and had raised issues such as different syllabus and languages during a recent meeting of state health ministers.

Nearly 6.5 lakh students took the test in the first phase of NEET held on May 1. The next phase of the exam is scheduled for July 24. Once the ordinance is issued, students of state boards will not have to sit for the second phase of NEET.