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After gaining an approval from the Lok Sabha, the Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill, 2016 and the Dental Council (Amendment) Bill, 2016 have been passed by the Rajya Sabha as well, thereby upholding admission to all the government medical and dental colleges under the NEET (National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test).

The NEET-I was conducted this year on May 1st, while the second phase of NEET, or the NEET-II was conducted on July 24th. The state level medical entrance examinations were also allowed to be conducted this year upon some request and deliberations.

However, these newly passed Bills state that from the coming year onwards, the admissions to all the government as well private medical and dental colleges throughout the country will be conducted through a common entrance test, i.e., through the NEET. This will end the multiplicity of state based medical entrance examinations and will also ensure better transparency within the medical and dental admission system. It will also save the students from the anxiety and harassment of appearing for multiple medical and dental examinations.

The motion for these two Bills gained wide support from most of the political parties except the AIADMK (All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam), the ruling party of Tamil Nadu. The party members of AIADMK staged a walkout and said that the rural students will be adversely affected by these Acts, as majority of them study in the state board schools and hence are not comfortable with the medical entrance syllabus of CBSE. The Health Minister J. P. Nadda responded to this concern from the opposition by saying that the NEET will be conducted based on a standardised syllabus, thus relieving the problem faced by the rural students.

In addition to the aforementioned political party members, many students and state governments also stated that the NEET will pose a serious problem for the students who have not studied in English or Hindi medium schools. However, Mr. Nadda also assured them that the NEET examination will also be conducted in the local languages and the necessary arrangements will also be made once they get the statistics of the students who have given the examination in the local languages over the past three years. Apart from addressing this apprehension, he notably mentioned that they will not interfere with the state quota based reservation system (which is approximately 85% in Tamil Nadu) in any of the states. He conveyed that they will provide the states with the ranks, marks and percentage, following which the states can give the extra marks to the students based on the respective state quota.

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