Bill to Exempt NEET to be Tabled in Tamil Nadu Assembly Soon
Chennai: Upon completing the legal consultations regarding the matter, the draft legislation exempting the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) in Tamil Nadu is going to be tabled in the State assembly soon, the Chief Minister of the State M K Stalin has announced on Wednesday.
The Chief Minister has further mentioned that currently, the Government is studying the legal aspects of the recommendations that Justice A K Rajan has mentioned in his report.
Such a response has come from the Chief Minister while he was addressing the concerns raised in the Assembly by DMK legislator Udhayanidhi Stalin, who stated that the people wanted to know about the status of the electoral promise made by DMK to ban NEET in the state, adds The Hindu.
NEET was introduced in India as a centralized test for admitting medical students at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. However, since its inception, Tamil Nadu has been protesting against the same as after the test was introduced more than a dozen students of underprivileged social background had committed suicide. These students belonging to remote areas were unable to access the necessary resources for clearing the entrance examination.
Medical Dialogues had previously reported that the State had formed a high-level panel to study the impact of the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test, NEET on aspirants in Tamil Nadu, especially those belonging to the rural areas, and socially disadvantaged sections.
It was decided that the eight-member committee led by a retired judge of Madras High Court, A K Rajan would study the impact of the screening test required for medical admissions on the students and submit its recommendations within a month.
Almost all parties including the ruling DMK and the main opposition AIADMK are on the same page as regards NEET and they have been demanding that the test be scrapped arguing that it went against social justice.
As per the latest media report by The Hindu, recently Mr. Udhayanidhi listed out the names of the 14 medical aspirants who ended their lives due to the fear of appearing in the exam or due to being unable to clear the same. He also reminded the Government of its earlier promise to abolish the Test and requested the Government to withdraw cases against those who staged protest against the common medical entrance examination.
While responding to first-time legislator, CM Stalin said, "Our position is that all of us should unite against NEET, overlooking our respective political lines. There is no change in that. We gave the assurance to the people based on that. We assured them of an exemption from NEET, which is our motive. We had promised to take action over it."
Hindustan Times adds that this is the second time when the State Assembly will pass a legislation seeking an exemption from NEET. Previously when the bill was passed back in 2017 by the AIADMK government, the president hadn't given his assent to the same.
"The report submitted by Justice A K Rajan is being examined legally, and a draft legislation will be brought in the ongoing budget session," Stalin said on Wednesday.
Stalin wants to build a watertight case, and a good group of legal experts are assisting us," a senior DMK leader told HT on condition of anonymity.
While commenting on the direction to the students to prepare for the examination that is scheduled on September 12, the leader added, "The CM doesn't want to rush, and we don't want to cause any confusion for repeaters this year."
The daily further mentions that the committee led by Justice AK Rajan had received more than 87,000 representations from all stakeholders including students, parents, academicians, doctors, and the majority have rejected the conduct of NEET. The representations that the Committee has received included members from the financially weaker section of the society as well. The Government, however, has kept this report confidential and is likely to use the same to make its case against NEET in order to prove the test to be discriminatory against rural and poor students, adds HT.
As NEET offers unlimited attempts, most of the unsuccessful candidates repeat the test again and this results in undue advantage to those who can afford the extra coaching classes, the examination fees repeatedly.
NEET continues to be one of the most politically debated issues in Tamil Nadu. In fact, Chief Minister M K Stalin had urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to cancel NEET as well as other all-national level tests and allow Tamil Nadu to fill professional seats, including the MBBS, based on class 12 marks.
Moreover, AIADMK top leader O Panneerselvam backed the DMK government's position and urged Prime Minister to abolish the tests. One of the grounds for their opposition is that such tests went against social justice and denied opportunities to students from socially disadvantaged groups and aspirants from rural regions.
The previous AIADMK government had in October last year introduced 7.5 percent reservation to government school students who clear NEET in medical admissions.