NEET caused major drop in Govt School Students' Admission in GMCs: CPI (M) to Madras HC
Chennai: In a recent impleadment application, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has pointed out that after the introduction of the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), there has been a major drop in the number of Government school students securing seats in Government medical colleges.
Before 2017, the year NEET was introduced, among the 22 existing Government medical colleges in Tamil Nadu, almost ninety percent of students admitted to these colleges beloned to either Government schools, aided schools or low-cost private schools following the State Board syllabus. In contradiction, the number of government school students admitted to government medical colleges dropped to zero in 2019, CPI (M) has pointed out.
Such submissions, on the part of CPI(M) comes after BJP State general secretary K Nagarajan in a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) application before the Madras High Court, challenged the validity of the NEET committee.
Medical Dialogues had earlier reported that the State Government 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.
However, after the validity of the Committee was questioned before the High Court, the bench had sought to know the response from the State and Centre. The Union Government in its response had stated that a conjoint reading of the relevant provisions of the Constitution makes it abundantly clear the executive power of the State to set up such a commission is restricted to subjects within its legislative competence.
It was submitted that the Supreme Court in Christian Medical College Vellore Association v. Union of India and others and connected matters had held that the provisions of a uniform examination of NEET is not opposed to social principles as enshrined in the Constitution and India's social fabric and that it does not take away rights guaranteed under Article 30 (1) read with Articles 19 (1) (g), 14, 25, 26, 29 (1).
"The Supreme Court had already upheld the validity of NEET against the anvil of the equality code contained in the Constitution. It was held without a pale of doubt that the conduct of NEET examinations is not in contravention to Article 14 nor against the socio-economic polity of the country. In spite of the same, the term of reference of the committee seeks to question whether NEET is an equitable method of selection. This particular term of reference is not qualified as the same had been settled by the Supreme Court. This reference is not only a slight against the status and privilege of the top court but is also an exercise in futility as the law declared by it is binding on all functionaries by virtue of the Constitution," Centre had said recently.
As per the latest media report by the New Indian Express, seeking impleadment in the petition regarding the NEET Committee, CPI(M) has pointed out that there has been a major decline in the number of Government school/ aided schools/low-cost private school students getting admission in Government medical colleges after the introduction of NEET.
Almost 600 students (90%) belonging to Tamil Nadu government schools had joined the medical courses back in 2016. Shockingly, the number dropped to a paltry 5 in 2017, seven in 2018, and finally zero in 2019.
The daily adds that in the inpleadment application, CPI(M) has mentioned that the claims of the petitioner that the whole exercise by the Justice A K Rajan Committee is futile and a waste of public money points a finger towards the lack of application of mind of the petitioner.
Times Now adds that CPI (M) further had thoroughly discussed in its application why the major decrease in the Government School students getting admission to medical courses is worrisome. The application has explained that one of the major problems with the implementation of NEET is the lack of uniformity in the education system in the country with many boards following different things.
The High Court has listed the matter to be next heard on July 13, along with the batch of impleadment applications moved by several other parties.