All private medical colleges will come under the ambit of common medical exams, NEET, Health Minister J P Nadda on Tuesday said after an Ordinance to keep the state boards out of it for a year was signed by President Pranab Mukherjee.

Noting that the Ordinance has given a “firm and statutory” support to the common medical entrance test, he said the students in states will get an opportunity to appear this year (2016-17) for undergraduate exams.

“All private institutions and medical colleges will come under the ambit of NEET. The state governments will get an option to either conduct their own exam or go for NEET to fill UG seats. However, for PG courses, the exam will be held under NEET for 2017-18 session, in December this year.

“The states will have an option. Approximately five states have undertaken their test. 6.5 lakh candidates have appeared in various state exams. 6.25 lakh have appeared in NEET 1,” Nadda told reporters.

“There are states which have deferred their exam like UP while Bihar has opted for NEET. They have an option. But these seats will be filled either by NEET or state governments,” he said.

After having raised queries, the President today signed the Ordinance which has a provision for states to keep out of NEET for a year.

Mukherjee signed the Ordinance this morning after Health Ministry officials returned with the file addressing all the queries raised by him.

Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi was at the President’s Secretariat early this morning along with the top ministry officials to respond to clarifications sought by Mukherjee on the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET).

Nadda said that in the Ordinance, a provision has been made where an exemption has been given to state governments. He said, “The President today morning signed the Ordinance which was sent to him by the Union Cabinet. Following this, the legal procedure has been initiated. It will be notified today.”