Medical aspirant kills self after failing to clear NEET

Medical aspirant kills self after failing to clear NEET

Members of the Coimbatore Bar Association raise slogans during a "rail roko" protest against NEET and demanding justice for the student S Anitha's death, in Coimbatore on Friday. PTI/FILE

A 19-year-old medical aspirant, who scored 94% marks in her Plus-Two exams last year, reportedly committed suicide after she failed to clear NEET in her second attempt.

The incident has brought to focus problems faced by rural students in Tamil Nadu in appearing for the national level test.

Prateebha, whose father is an agricultural labourer in Peruvallur village in the Gingee taluk of Villupuram district, had scored 1125 out of 1200 in her Plus-Two exams last year, and decided to take the NEET test this May to pursue her dream.

The girl, who could not get proper training since there were no free coaching centres near her village, failed to pass the test, results of which were declared on Monday afternoon.

This is the second such suicide. In September 2017, S Anitha, who had scored very good marks in her Plus-Two exams, committed suicide after the Supreme Court refused to exempt Tamil Nadu students from appearing before the exam.

Police said Pratheeba consumed poison on Monday evening and was rushed to the Villupuram district hospital where she was declared dead around 9 pm.

"The suicide note recovered said that she dreamt of becoming a doctor but the questions in NEET were too difficult for her to even understand," police said.

Pratheeba had secured admission for the Siddha course last year, but refused to join and instead prepared for NEET.

Though Tamil Nadu wanted its students exempted from appearing before NEET and passed a state-specific legislation in the Assembly, the Centre refused to clear it and the Supreme Court ordered last year that the state government begin admissions through NEET.

Experts blame students' difficulty in appearing for the exams on the government, which has not revised the syllabus in years.

As Pratheeba's suicide brought the issue back to focus, Opposition leader M K Stalin raised her suicide in the Assembly and sought to know the steps taken by the Tamil Nadu government to exempt its students from appearing before NEET.

Stalin, who, along with its ally Congress, called attention to Pratheeba's death, sought to know the status of the two resolutions sent to the Centre for the President's nod seeking exemption for Tamil Nadu from NEET was.

In his response, Health Minister C Vijayabhaskar said the Supreme Court had ruled against the exemption after some students moved the top court over the matter.