After Tamil Nadu chief minister MK Stalin writing to Prime Minister about inadequate supply of COVID-19 vaccine, today state health minister Ma Subramanian met newly appointed Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya in Delhi to seek a special allocation of 1 crore vaccines to the state.
Besides, Suvramanian also met Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and urged him to exempt Tamil Nadu from NEET exam this year.
Notably, after Union education minister Dharmendra Pradhan announced that NEET would take place on September 12, Ma Subramanian said while Tamil Nadu was firm on seeking NEET exemption, students should be prepared in case the exam is held. Subramanian said they are continuing NEET coaching as they don’t want students left stranded. “There is no harm in preparing for the exams,” he added.
Besides, the TN government had in June this year also formed a high-level committee to analyse whether NEET adversely impact students from backward classes. The committee was directed to study data related to medical admissions and make necessary recommendations, such as suggesting an alternative method for a level playing field in the admission procedure.
Talking about the vaccine shortage in Tamil Nadu, CM MK Stalin on July 13 had written to PM Modi requesting his intervention to correct the imbalance in the covid vaccine allocation for Tamil Nadu, and make a special allotment of 1 crore doses.
In his letter, Stalin said the state had received till July 8 only 29,18,110 vaccine doses from the Centre for beneficiaries in the 18-44 age category and 1,30,08,440 for those above the age of 45. He said the allocation was inadequate, and the state was finding it extremely difficult to meet the demand for vaccination.
Referring to an affidavit filed by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in the Supreme Court in which the Centre claimed states have been allocated vaccines in proportion to the population to ensure equitable distribution, Stalin said Tamil Nadu has not been given vaccines using this methodology and faced an acute shortage.
He said the number of vaccine doses provided to Tamil Nadu was only 302 per thousand eligible population. “This is very low when compared to the vaccine doses made available to states like Gujarat, Karnataka and Rajasthan” he added.