On Sunday, hours before he was to appear for NEET for a third time, 19-year old Dhanush, belonging to a village near Salem, died by suicide, fearing the outcome of the test he was to take. The incident triggered a blame game with the AIADMK holding the DMK regime responsible for the death and the state government targeting the Centre.
Following this, the Tamil Nadu assembly on Monday passed the Tamil Nadu Admission to Undergraduate Medical Degree Courses Bill against the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for the students of the state amid criticism and objection by the opposition BJP.
Following AIADMK, other political parties such as Paattali Makkal Katchi (PMK), Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) among others voted in the favour of the bill in the Assembly 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). However, BJP was the only party that opposed the Bill and staged a walkout.
Chief Minister MK Stalin on Monday morning tabled the Bill against NEET in the Assembly which also sought permanent exemption from the Union government’s medical entrance exam for the students studying in Tamil Nadu.
On Monday evening, another aspirant , Kanimozhi who had scored 562 out of 600 marks in Tamil Nadu plus two examination, committed suicide in Santhampadi village of Ariyalur district reportedly on the fear that she was not able to perform well in the National Eligibility cum Entrance Examination (NEET).
Why does Tamil Nadu oppose NEET?
The Tamil Nadu government claims that NEET being a centralised exam and conducted only on a single-day exam puts an enormous amount of pressure on students.
While engineering candidates have both state and central level exams, medical students have only a single entrance for centre and state level college admissions.
What is the bill about?
The National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test is not a fair or equitable method of admission since it favoured the rich and elite sections of society, the preamble of the Bill to override NEET, which was passed in the Tamil Nadu Assembly on Monday said.
The Bill, which was introduced in the House based on the panel's report, recommended that "the state government may undertake immediate steps to eliminate NEET from being used in admission to medical programmes at all levels by following the required legal and or legislative procedures."
From the report of the committee, it became apparent that "the NEET is not a fair or equitable method of admission since it favours the rich and elite section of the society." Also, the standard of medical education is no way diluted or affected merely by dispensing with the common entrance examination, the preamble said.
NEET and Tamil Nadu:
Issue over the NEET exam in the state is not a new one. Right from the time, it was introduced, the NEET exams have been opposed in the state of Tamil Nadu. Before the introduction of NEET by the centre, for the admissions to the medical courses, board score was considered.