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 one of the opposition party 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.
The bill will provide for admission to medical courses based on Class XII marks to ensure social justice, as the death by suicide of a medical aspirant fearing outcome of the test he was to take echoed in the House with the main opposition AIADMK targeting the government over the incident.
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 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.
However, CM Stalin reacting over the death hit back at AIADMK's accusations and said, NEET was conducted for the first time in Tamil Nadu when Palaniswami was the Chief Minister and it was not held even when the late J Jayalalithaa was the CM. Recalling the death by suicides of students, including S Anita in recent years, he said all these happened when Palaniswami was the CM. The student, Dhanush, who took the extreme step, could not clear the exam twice when the AIADMK was in power.
Stalin also targeted the AIADMK over rejection of Bills enacted during its regime in 2017 to get the state exempted from the ambit of NEET and also for hiding it from the House.
Notably, the CM on June 5 this year ordered to form a panel headed by retired judge AK Rajan. The panel comprising of educationalists’ and officials from state education department in the following months studied in the impact of NEET among students of government schools in Tamil Nadu and its implications on the students of economically weaker backgrounds.
(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)