NEET exam: Tamil Nadu Assembly passes Bill to scrap entrance exam, BJP stages walkout
NEET Examination: The Tamil Nadu Assembly on Monday passed a Bill to scrap NEET entrance examination, enabling admissions to MBBS/BDS based on class 12th marks. The opposition AIADMK supported the Bill while its partner in the state BJP staged a walkout.
The Assembly today adopted a bill to dispense with the National Entrance-cum-Eligibility Test (NEET) and provide for admission to medical courses based on Class 12 marks to ensure social justice.
Chief Minister M K Stalin introduced the Bill and all parties, including the main opposition AIADMK and its ally PMK, besides others like Congress, supported the bill. The bill 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).
Introducing the Bill, Stalin appealed to all to support it for social justice. The Bill, referring to recommendations of a high-level committee, said the government has decided to enact a law to dispense with the requirement of NEET for admission to UG Medical degree courses and to provide admission to such courses on the basis of marks obtained in the qualifying examination, through "Normalisation methods".
It said the bill seeks to ensure "social justice, uphold equality and equal opportunity, protect all vulnerable student communities from being discriminated and bring them to the mainstream of medical and dental education and in turn to ensure a robust public health care across the state, particularly the rural areas."
NEET is the all-India level entrance examination for undergraduate medical courses. This year, the exam was held on 12 September across the country.
Former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and AIADMK leader Edappadi K Palaniswami supported the Bill to scrap NEET. "Students didn't prepare well for the exam as DMK-govt said that NEET will be scrapped. We have decided to walk out in protest. We will support NEET resolution," he said.
Palaniswami also referred to the death by suicide of 19-year old Dhanush in his native Salem district on Sunday and targeted the government on the matter. He said that though the DMK had promised "cancelling" NEET, it was not done and several students had not prepared well. The opposition party MLAs, who came to the House wearing black badges, staged a walkout, led by Palaniswami.
On Sunday, hours before he was to appear for NEET for a third time, Dhanush, 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.
Stalin 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.
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.
Earlier this week, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi targeted the Centre for being "blind to student's distress" after the Supreme Court dismissed a petition seeking appropriate directions and orders to the authorities concerned for rescheduling or deferring the NEET UG-21.
(With inputs from agencies)