FPJ Explains: All you need to know about the row over Tamil Nadu's NEET quota
FPJ Explains: All you need to know about the row over Tamil Nadu's NEET quota

While Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu are due during April-May 2021, the NEET related issue has once again brought the two major political parties of the state into a straight fight.

This time it is a bill envisaging 7.5 percent quota for government school students in medical courses. The bill has become an issue of huge uproar in the state.

What is the bill?

The TN Admission to undergraduate courses in Medicine, Dentistry, Indian Medicine and Homeopathy on preferential basis to the students of the Government Schools Bill 2020 was passed in the Assembly on September 15.

The Bill, aimed at providing horizontal reservation of 7.5 percent for students of state run schools who clear NEET was sent to the Governor for his assent following its passage.

The quota initiative was following the recommendations of a committee, headed by former Judge, Madras High Court, Justice Kalayarasan and it included experts.

What is the outrage about?

The bill was unanimously passed in the state assembly. The decided quota will benefit nearly 300 students from the economically weaker sections who have been studying in government schools. However, at present, the bill is pending with Governor. This delay in the governor’s approval would mean that the students will not be able to avail the benefits of the bill for this academic year.

NEET 2020 counselling first round will be conducted from 27 October to 2 November, announced Medical Counselling Committee (MCC) on its official website — mcc.nic.in. The seat allotment result will be released on 5 November.

While the DMK leader MK Stalin wrote a letter to the Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit to clear the Bill envisaging reservation, Purohit replied to him and state that he would take three to four weeks to assess the bill. However, this would mean that by then the admission process will be completed.

TN Govt vs Opposition:

On Saturday, DMK cadres staged a protest near the Raj Bhavan seeking Governor Banwarilal Purohit's nod for the bill, with party chief M K Stalin questioning the 'delay' in giving assent.

Stalin also slammed Chief Minister K Palaniswami for not exerting pressure to get it cleared.

Presiding over the protest to seek nod for the quota Bill, he wondered why Purohit has not assented to it though over a month has lapsed since it was passed by the Assembly and sent to him for clearance.

The DMK chief asked whether Palaniswami occupying the position of Chief Minister was "fair" without firmly persuading the Governor to approve the quota bill.

Meanwhile, the Palaniswami has accused Stalin of "doing politics" in the matter.

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.

(With inputs from agencies)

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Free Press Journal