With the Union Cabinet deciding to approve promulgation of an ordinance to keep state boards out of the ambit of the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) for one academic session, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday called on President Pranab Mukherjee not to sign the ordinance.
“I urge Hon’ble President not to sign the ordinance,” Kejriwal tweeted.
The Chief Minister’s statement comes after reports emerged that the President is seeking clarification on the ordinance and that he was also consulting in house legal experts on certain questions.
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.
“It has come to my attention that reports are adrift that the Centre is making plans to overturn the decision by the Supreme Court and people have been tensed upon hearing this news. The people of the nation will be cheated if the Centre goes through with this decision. Just a few days ago, Union Health Minister J.P. Nadda called a meeting over the issue, where almost all health ministers opposed NEET, except Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain,” the letter stated.
Kejriwal added it is also being said that many politicians are running their own private medical colleges, in which some institutions are indulging in the practice of accepting large donations, which is why they were vehemently against the NEET examinations.
“It is my humble request to you to ensure that no orders are brought against the Supreme Court ruling in the matter, otherwise people will think that the Centre stand with those who garner black money,” Kejriwal said.
However the Centre cleared the ordinance to postpone the exam by a year so that the students have enough time to prepare.
The decision came after a meeting chaired between Union Health minister J.P. Nadda and other state health ministers over the matter.
The meeting was convened after several parliamentarians opposed the common medical entrance test, saying the NEET has created confusion among the students who have already applied for the state entrance exams.
The Congress Party has alleged that the Prime Minister-led government was serving the interest of a medical lobby, which included a large number of politicians and businessmen.
Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala asked the NDA regime to roll back the ordinance so that meritorious students get admission on the basis of their merit and the entire system of fleecing students through capitation comes to an end.
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.
The opposition parties have raised concerns that the students passing out from the state boards in vernacular languages and living in remote areas may not be able to perform well enough in common entrance exam despite being competitive.