Stalin joins AIADMK in asking Tamil Nadu Governor to sign NEET Bill on 7.5% reservation for rural students

Published : October 21, 2020 18:08 IST

DMK president M.K. Stalin. Photo: M. VEDHAN

Even as Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit maintained a studied silence over giving his assent to a Bill that grants 7.5 per cent reservation to rural students in admission to Medical Colleges, which the State Legislative Assembly passed on September 15, the main opposition party, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), asked the Governor, on October 21, to sign the Bill.

On October 20, five Tamil Nadu Ministers met the Governor at the Raj Bhavan and requested him to sign the Bill because admissions to medical colleges in the State were in limbo owing to the inaction on the part of the Governor.

In a letter to the Governor, a copy of which was released to the media, M.K. Stalin, DMK president, while stressing the DMK’s opposition to the concept of NEET (National Eligibility cum Entrance Test), said that the government’s decision to provide the reservation followed the Kalaiarasan Committee recommendations to enact a “righteous act to bring in equality between Government and private school students”.

He pointed out that based on the above, the “‘Tamil Nadu Admission to Undergraduate Courses in Medicine, Dentistry, Indian Medicine and Homeopathy on preferential basis to students of Government Schools Bill, 2020,’ to provide horizontal reservation of 7.5 per cent in NEET examination for government school students was passed on September 15, 2020, unanimously, in the Tamil Nadu Assembly and sent to the Governor for his assent.”

Stalin said that since the NEET results were announced on October 16, government school students were in a position to benefit from the reservation this year itself “only if the assent for 7.5 per cent horizontal reservation Bill passed by the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly is given immediately, without further delay”.

Reminding the Governor to help fulfill “the dream of government school students… to pursue medicine as their profession”, Stalin said that the DMK, the main opposition party, had supported the Bill in the Assembly. “I urge you to immediately give assent to the Bill,” Stalin said in a two-page statement.

Stalin’s move comes at a time when the discussion over NEET has been raging all over the State. While supporters of NEET point to the pass percentage of government school students, its detractors ask about the costs and burden on the family of each student. Stalin’s letter also forces Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami to appear to be taking action on the issue of 7.5 per cent reservation. So far, the Chief Minister has been understated in his opposition to the Governor’s inaction. Stalin’s move leaves him with no choice but to make the demand even more strongly.

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