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Tamil Nadu passes Bill to dump Centre's NEET: Stalin will go by Class XII marks

“The standard of medical education is maintained during the UG course by following the syllabus and curriculum prescribed by the National Medical Commission and through exams conducted by the university before awarding the degree," the Bill clarified, and scrapped NEET as discriminatory. It throws some light on what is next to come.

A panel set up by the Government had concluded that the most affected by the NEET were the poor students of Tamil medium hailing from rural background.

CHENNAI, Sept 13: The Tamil Nadu Assembly on Monday passed a Bill to scrap NEET medical entrance examination system introduced by the Central Government on the ground that children who do not have the privilege of basic opportunities in the midst of glaring economic deprivation and social inequalitiers are at a disadvantage in the so-called all-India tests.

While the BJP, the ruling party at the Centre which introduced the NEET system, staged a walkout while all other parties, including the AIADMK and the Congress, supported it.

The Tamil Nadu Admission to Undergraduate Medical Degree Courses Bill, 2021 provides for admission to UG courses in medicine, dentistry, Ayurveda and homeopathy on the basis of marks obtained in Class XII, the qualifying examination.

Chief Minister MK Stalin said under the Constitution the State was competent to legislate for the benefit of the underprivileged sections of society.

“It [NEET] festers inequality as it favours the rich and the more privileged class of society, who are able to afford special coaching apart from pursuing Class XII. It virtually barricades the underprivileged social groups from medical and dental education,” the Bill said.

It stated that NEET was against equality enshrined in the Constitution.

“The standard of medical education is maintained during the UG course by following the syllabus and curriculum prescribed by the National Medical Commission and through exams conducted by the university before awarding the degree. Students who are not able to pass the university exams are not awarded degrees. Therefore, it is not during the admission stage that the standard of medical education is maintained,” the Bill argued.

The Bill provides for "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."

Two similar legislations passed by the Assembly during the erstwhile AIADMK regime had not received the Presidential assent.

This year the National Entrance-cum-Eligibility Test (NEET) was held on September 12. A student had committed suicide in Salem on Sunday before the examination due to stress. He had attempted the test twice earlier.

A committee chaired by Chief Secretary V Iraianbu was constituted to suggest ways to implement recommendations of the Justice AK Rajan panel, which submitted a report against the common entrance exam. The committee suggested promulgating of an Act similar to the Tamil Nadu Act No 3/2007, which was passed by the then DMK Government to end all entrance exams for professional courses. It had provided for admission to engineering, medicine, dental, agriculture and other allied courses on the basis of marks in the qualifying exam.

The panel had concluded that the most affected groups were the students of Tamil medium, those having a rural background, those from Government schools and those whose parental income was less than Rs 2.5 lakh per annum.

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