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Scrap NEET for entire country by amending NMC Act: Tamil Nadu Assembly

The resolution, which was moved by Chief Minister M K Stalin and passed with support from legislators from the ruling alliance and the PMK amid a boycott by the BJP, also nudged the Union Government to approve a Bill passed by the House in 2022 seeking exemption from the exam for students from Tamil Nadu.
Last Updated : 28 June 2024, 09:00 IST

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Chennai: In the backdrop of a major row over “irregularities” in the conduct of NEET, the Tamil Nadu Assembly on Friday adopted a resolution demanding that the Union Government scrap the exam for admission into medical and dental courses in the country by amending the National Medical Commission Act.

The resolution, which was moved by Chief Minister M K Stalin and passed with support from legislators from the ruling alliance and the PMK amid a boycott by the BJP, also nudged the Union Government to approve a Bill passed by the House in 2022 seeking exemption from the exam for students from Tamil Nadu.

NEET is an emotive issue in Tamil Nadu with about two dozen students ending their lives either due to the fear of appearing for the exam or failing to clear it ever since the exam was introduced in the state in 2017. The state assembly passed two bills seeking exemption from NEET for Tamil Nadu in 2017 and 2021 with the Union Government rejecting the former which was piloted by the then AIADMK government.

The 2021 bill, which was drafted based on a recommendation from a panel headed by Justice (retired) A K Rajan, was returned to the Assembly in 2022 by Governor R N Ravi, who was forced to refer it to the President after the House “re-adopted” the legislation. The bill is pending with the Union Government from May 2022.

“NEET, which affects the opportunities of students from rural areas in accessing medical education and snatches the rights of state governments to admit students in medical colleges, should be scrapped. The Union Government should approve the bill passed by the Tamil Nadu Assembly seeking exemption for the state,” the resolution read.

“In the backdrop of several states opposing the exam, this House unanimously resolves that the Union Government should amend the National Medical Commission Act so that NEET is scrapped for the entire country,” the resolution added.

In his speech while moving the resolution, Stalin said the previous model of admission based on the plus-two marks had facilitated students from every part of the state to become doctors which helped the state take medical services into its every nook and corner.

“But introduction of NEET in 2017 has made medical education unaffordable for poor students. Rural students who can’t attend coaching classes won’t be able to crack the test. Moreover, this will impact the medical services provided in rural areas. It is only after considering these problems, the DMK was steadfast in its opposition to NEET,” Stalin said.

Listing the steps taken by his government to get exemption from NEET for the state, Stalin said the incidents relating to conduct of the exam in 2024 like alleged question paper leak and over a 1,000 students getting “grace marks” have “completely destroyed” the faith that students had in competitive exams.

“The Union Government, which initially denied any wrongdoing in the conduct of NEET, sacked the head of the National Testing Agency only after it was admonished by the Supreme Court. The Union Government has ordered a CBI probe into the allegations and has cancelled the PG NEET exams,” Stalin told the Assembly.

The recent calls from various states for “scrapping” of the exam is merely an echo of the voices from Tamil Nadu which have been highlighting the “ill-effects” of the exam for the past few years, Stalin said, and recalled letters written by opposition leaders from West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, and Bihar to Prime Minister Narendra Modi regarding NEET.

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Published 28 June 2024, 09:00 IST

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