Opposition to NEET

Tamil Nadu government to pass resolution in Assembly against NEET on September 13

Published : September 11, 2021 20:32 IST

Tamil Nadu Health Minister Ma.Subramanian. Photo: JOTHI RAMALINGAM B.

The Tamil Nadu government announced on September 11 that the State Assembly would pass a resolution on September 13 against the conduct of the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET). As many as 1.12 lakh students across the country are set to appear for the test on September 12 (Sunday).

Health Minister Ma. Subramanian told a media conference in Chennai that the government would apply “pressure” to make sure that students from the State were exempted from NEET. The idea behind the adoption of a resolution in the Assembly a day after the completion of the test was to convey the message that Tamil Nadu would keep fighting against NEET, which discriminates against the socially and educationally backward communities.

In 2017, the then All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) government had adopted a resolution against the conduct of NEET in the State. But the conduct of the test could not be stopped. The difference this time is that the committee headed by former Justice A.K. Rajan has submitted its report on the impact of NEET on socially backward students. Getting NEET exemption for Tamil Nadu is one of the election promises of the DMK.

Soon after the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) was elected, on June 10, Chief Minister M.K. Stalin announced the constitution of the A.K. Rajan committee. It was given a month to submit its report. A case in the Madras High Court delayed the submission of the report by four days. On July 14, the committee presented a 165-page report. “A majority of the people said that there is no need for NEET,” Rajan told mediapersons then. “The Centre has no power to regulate admission to medical colleges in the State, it can only determine standards,” he had stated.

Committee of Secretaries

The Health Minister indicated his plan of approach to get NEET exemption in his address during the demands for grants for his Ministry in the Assembly, on September 2. He stated: “An official committee of secretaries under the chairmanship of the Chief Secretary was constituted to suggest appropriate measures to implement the recommendation of the [Rajan] Committee. The Committee of Secretaries has suggested to promulgate an Act… indicating the need for elimination of NEET in medical education and get the President’s assent for the same. This will ensure social justice and protect all vulnerable student communities from being discriminated in admission to medical education programme.”

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