Govt not inclined to back TN bills on NEET

Govt not inclined to back TN bills on NEET

Govt not inclined to back TN bills on NEET

The Centre is in no mood to back the two Tamil Nadu bills exempting students from the state from appearing for the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) to get admission into medical and dental colleges in the state.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is understood to have indicated to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami that the state should consider other ways to help the students clear the NEET, as mandated by the judgement of the Supreme Court.

One of the suggestions mooted by the prime minister was that the state government could consider organising special coaching facilities for students from the weaker sections of the society.

‘Strained conditions’
This was in response to Palaniswami’s argument that the state law should get the Centre’s support, as a bulk of students appearing for the examination come from rural areas, and due to strained economic conditions, they do not have access to coaching classes to equip themselves for the examination.

The Centre’s view was that the apex court judgement presented an opportunity to “clean up” the system of admissions by the states.

Besides, any state law would not stand scrutiny if it was challenged in the apex court.

In 2016, the Supreme Court mandated a uniform entrance test for admission to medical courses, saying the examination will be conducted by the Central Board of School Education for undergraduate courses and by the National Board of Examinations for postgraduate courses. 

Although state-run institutions were exempted from the examination last year, the apex court said it would be mandatory for 2017.

Claiming that Tamil Nadu has a fair and transparent medical admission policy, Palaniswami had urged Modi to approve the two bills.

The chief minister also pointed out that various political parties in Tamil Nadu were seeking the Centre’s nod and the presidential assent for the two bills passed unanimously in the state Assembly.

He said the state had taken the decision to continue the present procedure of admissions to MBBS and BDS courses on the basis of the marks obtained in the higher secondary examination (Class XII).

For postgraduate admissions, the state will admit students based on an entrance examination.