After three suicide cases were reported in a week related to the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) exam in Tamil Nadu, Chief Minister MK Stalin on Wednesday made an emotional appeal to students tormented by the matter of appearing for the exam.
Today, allegedly, a 17-year-old girl died in Tamil Nadu today allegedly by suicide, the third such death in less than a week. The daily wager's daughter, who had appeared for NEET 2021, was anxious over clearing it. She had scored 84.9 per cent in Class 12.
"I beg of you, please do not end your lives. Nothing is impossible for you. Study with that confidence. Parents, too, should instill self-confidence in children and not stress them out," Chief Minister Stalin said in his appeal, He also advised panicked children to talk to mental health experts by dialling 104.
"NEET shuts down the little opportunity that has opened up for students. The Union government is stonehearted. It is not climbing down (from its stated position). We will create a situation to scrap NEET," he said.
The girl's death comes after a 17-year-old boy's yesterday and a 19-year-old's on Sunday, merely hours before the exam scheduled for the next day. Notably, over the past few years, 15 medical aspirants have died by suicide in the state.
On Monday, September 13, Tamil Nadu passed a new bill to stop NEET-based admission to medical courses. It would, however, not take effect without a sign-off by President Ram Nath Kovind, since it challenges a Central law.
When was the NEET introduced?
NEET was introduced during the UPA regime when Mr Stalin's DMK was a part of it. The then Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Karunanidhi - Mr Stalin's father, had managed to get a Presidential approval exempting the state from NEET.
The AIADMK government, which succeeded that government, however, failed to get a similar exemption from its ally, the BJP.