Jaitley says entrance tests the ‘domain of the executive’
New Delhi: Hinting at some steps to meet the situation arising out of Supreme Court’s ruling on a common medical entrance test, the Centre said on Monday the matter is essentially in the “executive domain”, as it held parleys with state health ministers.
After the meeting with the state ministers, Health Minister JP Nadda said the Centre has noted their many concerns about the mandatory National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) from this year itself and that it will soon formulate further course of action. A meeting with representatives of political parties is also being convened.
Nadda also said more consultations will be held with states on the NEET issue amid reports that an Ordinance may be brought to circumvent the Supreme Court ruling that made the national test mandatory for admission to medical courses across the country, junking medical exams of the states, private institutions and deemed universities.
Separately, finance minister Arun Jaitley, while referring to protests by many states over the Supreme Court’s NEET decision, asserted that what should be the manner of holding the examination across the country is essentially an executive matter as it is in policy domain.
“It is the case of some of the states that boards are unequal, their languages are dissimilar. Can those who are dissimilar in language and unequal be placed on the pedestal of quality and asked to give the same exam?
“I think this matter is essentially in the executive domain. We now have a Supreme Court judgement. We will have to see how we deal with that particular issue,” Jaitley told reporters. Several states want NEET to be implemented only from the 2017-18 academic session.
Jaitley, however, said the judiciary and executive are “on the same page” over maintaining the fairness and integrity of exams at all costs.
Nadda held a consultation meeting with state health ministers to discuss the problems they were facing over the common medical entrance test.
“We will need more discussions with the state governments on the NEET issue. Today we had discussions on language, syllabus and state governments’ concerns over state medical entrance examinations.
“We have to solve all the problems of the states before NEET is conducted across the country,” Nadda said.
The Health Minister further said the Supreme Court will be apprised about the state governments’ apprehensions on NEET only after arriving at a conclusion.
“Met health ministers of states today. They shared their views on holding NEET this year. I have noted their many concerns about NEET this year. Will soon formulate further course of action,” Nadda later tweeted.
Delhi’s AAP Government while coming out in full support of the Supreme Court order said there is now a “reasonable apprehension” that the apex court verdict could be circumvented by way of an Ordinance to do away with NEET for this academic year to begin with.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said he will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the NEET issue, amid concerns raised by parents and students. “I have assured parents that I will meet PM Modi on NEET issue. We are trying our best to resolve the issue,” he told reporters in Mumbai.