Updated: July 20, 2016 10:21:34 am
AMID AN AIADMK walkout, the Lok Sabha on Tuesday passed a bill mandating the conduct of a single common exam for medical and dental courses. The new measure will also cover private colleges.
The Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill, 2016, and The Dentists (Amendment) Bill, 2016, provides Constitutional status to the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) examination, which will be introduced from the next academic session.
The Bill will replace the ordinances promulgated by the government to circumvent a Supreme Court order, which had called for the implementation of NEET from this session.
Health Minister J P Nadda, who moved the bill for consideration and passing, said the new legislation has three main objectives: end the multiplicity of examinations, make them fair and transparent and ensure students are not exploited, particularly with regard to capitation fees.
The minister said the examination will be based on the NCERT syllabus. The undergraduate exam would be conducted by CBSE while the post-graduation exam will be held by the national board of examination. “We will take care of the differences and we will also standardise the syllabus so that rural students are not affected,” Nadda said.
He further said that a committee of judges will decide on the fees to be charged by private medical colleges, while the government will take the call for its institutes. “We will also arrange the test in regional languages,” Nadda said. The health ministry has already asked states to furnish details of the number of students who have appeared in local languages in the last three years.
Read: NEET: Everything you need to know about the Supreme Court verdict
The minister also sought to allay fears of members from Tamil Nadu. AIADMK’s T G Venkatesh Babu demanded that states should not be forced to adopt NEET from 2017 and that it should be left to the states to decide whether they want their own examination or the uniform test. Nadda assured them that the state’s quota would not be touched but dissatisfied AIADMK members walked out in protest.
On allegations of corruption against the Medical Council of India, Nadda said, “A committee has been set up by the PM and that is at the final stage. Stakeholders have been called. The report is being finalised.”
RSP MP N K Premachandran, who had moved statutory amendments to the Bill, lauded Nadda for addressing all issues and announced that he was not going ahead with them. He agreed with the content of the Bill, but criticised the ordinance route which the government had adopted. He also accused the Supreme Court of judicial overreach and said the apex court should not dictate the government on what to do.
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