NEET Exemption: Tamil Nadu Assembly passes bill scrapping MBBS entrance test
Chennai: The Tamil Nadu Assembly has passed the Bill to exempt the state from the MBBS/BDS entrance test, National Entrance cum Eligibility Test (NEET) and allow admission to medical and dental courses based on Class 12 marks.
This comes a day after the death by suicide of a medical aspirant fearing the outcome of the test he was to take. The incident echoed in the House during the session.
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.
In June, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin formed a committee headed by retired justice AK Rajan to study the impact of NEET and the other coaching centres and found that NEET favours only the rich and the elite sections, the government said that it has hit the students from both urban and rural areas particularly those whose families earn less than Rs2.5 lakhs a year and who studied in Tamil-medium schools.
Earlier, Medical Dialogues had reported that the Tamil Nadu Government was soon going to make a new law for medical admission in the State, so that the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) could be scrapped.
Now, Chief Minister M K Stalin has introduced the Bill and all parties, including the main opposition AIADMK and its ally PMK, besides others like Congress, supported the bill, which seeks to provide for admission to UG courses in medicine, dentistry, Indian medicine and homeopathy on the basis of marks obtained in the qualifying examination, (Class XII), reports PTI.
The Bill, referring to recommendations of a high-level committee, said the government has decided to enact a law to dispense with the requirement of NEET for admission to UG Medical degree courses and to provide admission to such courses on the basis of marks obtained in the qualifying examination, through "Normalisation methods", to ensure "social justice, uphold equality and equal opportunity, protect all vulnerable student communities from being discriminated and bring them to the mainstream of medical and dental education and in turn to ensure a robust public health care across the state, particularly the rural areas."
Stalin, who welcomed the support of the main opposition party to his government's move on NEET, recalled that in the past, when the DMK was in the opposition, it supported the then AIADMK government on the issue of jallikattu, the bull-taming sport.
BJP's Nainar Nagenthiran insisted NEET had its benefits like increased pass percentage and led his party's walkout protesting against the bill.
The opposition BJP staged a walkout, protesting against the government move.
Earlier, as soon as the House convened, Leader of the Opposition K Palaniswami referred to the death by suicide of 19-year old NEET aspirant in his native Salem district on Sunday and targeted the government on the matter.
The incident triggered a blame game with the AIADMK holding the DMK regime responsible for the death and the state government targeting the Centre.