The union law ministry yesterday cleared an ordinance of the Tamil Nadu government which seeks to exempt medical students from appearing in the common entrance test NEET. Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad cleared the draft ordinance in consultation with Attorney General K K Venugopal. A law ministry official, who requested anonymity, told Press Trust of India that the ordinance will be applicable only to government colleges, and not private ones.
Earlier in the day the court asked Tamil Nadu to comply Supreme Court order which quashed state's notification of 85%quota to state board and 15% quota for CBSE and other boards in medical admission.
When petitioner argued about Centre doing quid pro quo for AIADMK voting for NDA candidate for President and Vice President, the supreme court said these kind of arguments can't be tolerated.
The students, through senior counsel Nalini Chidambaram, had submitted that the recent ordinance of the State to exempt Tamil Nadu from NEET this year was merely a political bargaining chip which would affect the lives and careers of students.
"The Tamil Nadu Ministers started bargaining with the Central Government to get Presidential assent for an ordinance they propose to introduce exempting Tamil Nadu Students from NEET for the academic year 2017-18 as a quid pro quo for supporting the NDA Candidates for the Presidential and Vice presidential candidates," the plea alleged.
The students, in their plea, prayed that the state government be directed "to select students for MBBS seats in the Government Medical Colleges in Tamil Nadu and for the Government Quota Seats in Self Financing Private Medical Colleges and in Raja Muthiah Medical And dental College, Annamalai University, Chidambaram for the academic year 2017- 18 only based on the merit list prepared as per NEET marks".
No student should suffer due to the proposed state government's ordinance, the bench said.
A bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra was hearing a plea filed by six students seeking a direction to the state government to conduct counselling for the medical seats solely on the basis of the merit list prepared on the basis of NEET marks.
Supreme Court will take up the case on Tuesday.
Madras High Court's first bench comprising Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice M Sundar posted the PIL for order to August 23 after hearing arguments by counsel for the union government.
The counsel yesterday said the petitioner should approach only the Supreme Court with regard to National Entrance Cum Eligibility Test (NEET). He further said a decision on the state government's request seeking exemption from NEET for this year was expected in a day or two and hence sought adjournment of the petition by one week.
The Tamil Nadu government on Monday handed over to the Centre a draft of the proposed ordinance it plans to enact to give exemption to students from the NEET examination for admission to government colleges in the state.
Tamil Nadu Health Secretary J. Radhakrishnan handed over the documents to R.K. Mitra, Joint Secretary in the Union Home Ministry, a day after Union Minister Nirmala Sitaraman said the Centre would consider such a request for just one year.
The National Eligibility cum Entrance Test or NEET-UG is an entrance examination in India for students who wish to study any graduate medical course in government or private medical colleges in India for MBBS and BDS courses conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE).
(With Inputs from A Vaidyanathan, PTI and IANS)
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