NEET 2021: Tamil Nadu to bring new law scrapping MBBS entrance test
Chennai: On the basis of the recommendations from a committee led by Chief Secretary V Irai Anbu, the Tamil Nadu Government is going to make a new law for medical admission in the State, so that the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) could be scrapped and the students could get admitted to medical courses based on the marks secured in their qualifying Class 12th examination.
"The fresh bill will be introduced either on Monday or Tuesday. The students will have to appear for NEET on September 11 this year," a source informed TOI.
Tamil Nadu Health Minister Ma. Subramanian in a policy note tabled before the assembly said a Committee of Secretaries has suggested passing a law for exemption from the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) and getting the President's assent for it.
The Committee of Secretaries has suggested to promulgate an Act, indicating the need for elimination of the NEET in medical education and get the President's assent for the same, he said, as reported by IANS.
"This will ensure social justice and protect all vulnerable student communities from being discriminated in admission to medical education programmes," he said.
The State has been considering scrapping the national-level common medical entrance exam - NEET 2021 for some time. Now, the Government is considering a new law that can allow admissions to medical colleges based on marks instead of NEET. This is a suggestion by an official committee set up by the state government, reports PTI.
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.
Only a couple of weeks ago, Chief Minister Stalin had assured that after examining the report submitted by Justice AK Rajan Committee, a draft legislation would be brought in the ongoing budget session.
Now, a policy note (2021-22) tabled by Health Minister Ma Subramanian in the Assembly for his department said this initiative would ensure social justice and protect all vulnerable student communities from being discriminated against admission to medical education programmes. "The Committee of Secretaries has suggested promulgating an Act, similar to TN Act No 3/2007, indicating the need for elimination of NEET in medical education and get the President's assent for the same," the note said adding it would ensure social justice.
The 2007 TN law provided for admission to engineering, medicine, dental, agriculture and other allied courses on the basis of marks in the qualifying exam and it received the President's assent. Citing the submission of recommendations of a high-level committee headed by Justice AK Rajan in July, the government said the panel studied whether the NEET-based admission process had an adverse effect on aspirants of medical education in Tamil Nadu.
The detailed study includes students from poor sections of society in both urban and rural regions and those who had studied in government schools and in Tamil medium. Following Justice Rajan Panel's recommendations to the government, an official committee of secretaries under the chairmanship of chief secretary V Iraianbu was constituted to suggest appropriate measures to implement the recommendations of the high-level panel.
The policy note said the Tamil Nadu government has been consistently opposing NEET and considering the plight of poor students, Chief Minister M K Stalin had made an announcement on June 5 to constitute a panel under the chairmanship of Justice Rajan.
As per the latest media report by the Times of India, the committee led by the Chief Secretary included secretaries of health, school, higher education, and law as well. After studying the report of the AK Rajan Committee, which had pointed out the challenges faced by rural students studying in Tamil medium government schools, the government committee led by the Chief Secretary suggested the legal route.
The daily further adds that the AK Rajan Committee had stressed on the sharp contrast in medical admission of rural and urban students and also the advantages and access that the repeaters are getting when compared to the first-time applicants.
While commenting on the legal validity of the proposed bill, senior advocate K M Vijayan said, "As long as higher education is concerned, in the matters relating to determination of standards of higher education, the powers are vested with the Union government. The states cannot pass a law under Entry 25 of List III, subject to certain entries in List I. These areas are exclusive domains of Parliament."