NEET: TN to enact 7.5% reservation for govt school kids

Tamil Nadu issues GO to implement 7.5% reservation for govt school students who clear NEET

The 7.5% horizontal reservation will ensure that at least 300 students from govt schools get into medical colleges every year.

Representative image/Credit: iStock images

With Governor Banwarilal Purohit sitting on the Bill passed by the Assembly for nearly 45 days, the Tamil Nadu government on Thursday used its powers to issue executive directions to provide 7.5 percent reservation in medical and dental admissions to government school students who clear NEET.

The issuance of the GO by the Edappadi K Palaniswami, pending assent from Governor for the Bill passed by the state assembly, paves the way for conduct of counselling for medical admission in the state for the academic year 2020-21. The 7.5 percent horizontal reservation will ensure that at least 300 students from govt schools get into medical colleges every year.

Read | Persistence pays: Scrap dealer's son clears NEET in ninth attempt

"Since the NEET-Under Graduate results have now been declared and the admission process has started, there is an urgency to decide on this issue and since the power to issue executive directions under Article 162 of the Constitution of India is co-extensive with legislative powers, pending decision of the Hon'ble Governor, the Government hereby has taken the following policy decisions and issue orders accordingly," the GO signed by Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan read.

The GO defined government school students as those who studied in panchayat union primary and middle schools, Adi-dravidar welfare schools, municipal/corporation/tribal welfare schools, Kallar reclamation BC/MBC/Differently-Abled Welfare/ Forest/Social Defence Schools), department schools and residential.

The government was forced to use the power to issue executive directions after it was pushed to the corner by the Opposition parties, especially the DMK, that accused it of not exerting "enough pressure" on the Governor.

The Governor had last week said he needs another "three to four weeks" to arrive at a decision on the Bill providing the 7.5 percent reservation prompting the DMK to hit the streets.

Also Read | NEET on centre stage; DMK aims to make 2021 elections battleground for 'TN vs Delhi'

Principal Opposition party, DMK, quickly took credit for the move saying it was the first to advice the government to take the GO route after the Governor sought more time to look into the Bill.

A senior government functionary told DH that the government had no choice but to issue the GO by using special powers after it was "pushed to a corner." Noting that NEET is an emotional issue in the state, he said the government had to resort to the move to ensure that the admission happens on time, after the Governor decided to seek opinion from legal experts.

"It is a very polite Government Order. It is not a confrontational order. We have issued the GO for the admissions to begin pending the assent from the Governor for the Bill. The beginning of the admission process will help end the uncertainty among students," the government functionary said on the condition of anonymity.