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[Representational Image] The Special Investigation Team (SIT) on Sunday arrested two more people in connection with the Bihar merit list scandal. They were allegedly "working" for former Bihar School Examination Board (BSEB) Chairman Lalkeshwar Prasad Singh, who is absconding at present. Singh's wife has been named as a "non-FIR" accused. Picture: Indian students study inside the Delhi University campus in New Delhi Sept. 20, 2013.Reuters

UPDATE: 14:47 p.m. IST — The National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) will be held this academic year as instructed by the Supreme Court, but the state governments will be allowed to conduct entrance examination this year only for undergraduate medical and dental courses, Health Minister JP Nadda reportedly said in a news conference.

Media reports had earlier said President Pranab Mukherjee had approved the ordinance passed by the Union Cabinet to postpone NEET by one academic year. However, Nadda said the President's approval has given NEET a "statutory support."

"In some sections of media, it was coming that NEET has been deferred. Want to clear that In fact it has been implemented," ANI quoted Nadda as saying. He reportedly added the state governments have the option to conduct their own entrance examinations, but only for this academic year.

"Want to make it very clear that all private institutions and medical colleges will come under ambit of NEET. State governments will get an opportunity to appear this year (2016-17) for under-graduate examinations. But this year December, the post-graduation examination will be held under NEET provisions," he said.

Original Story —

President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday reportedly signed the ordinance to "partially" defer the implementation of National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), a common entrance examination for medical and dental courses, for one year. The ordinance was passed by the Union Cabinet on Friday.

The decision was taken after the President met Union Health Minister JP Nadda on Monday. Mukherjee had sought clarifications on details like different exams of state boards, syllabi and regional languages before approving the ordinance, the Indian Express reported.

The Supreme Court had in its order asked the Centre to conduct a common medical entrance test for all government and deemed universities, and private medical colleges. However, the central government seeks to exempt state government seats from NEET through the ordinance.

The Centre wishes to exempt state government seats in private medical colleges as well, the IE quoted its sources as saying. 

The Supreme Court had ordered the Centre and the Central Board of School Education (CBSE) to conduct NEET in two phases. While the first was held on May 1, the second was scheduled for July 24.

CBSE conducts a common medical exam, All India Pre Medical Test (AIPMT), across the country, but some states like Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir hold separate entrance tets.

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