NEET Exam: Bill passed in Tamil Nadu Assembly against NEET, what is its meaning, how will it affect medical admission?

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New Delhi Bill to not conduct NEET exam in Tamil Nadu has been passed in the assembly. The NEET exam will not be conducted in the state once it becomes a law. To ensure social justice, admission in medical colleges will be done on the basis of class 12 marks. During the discussion on the bill, there was mention in the assembly about a student named Dhanush who had committed suicide before appearing for the medical entrance exam. The main opposition party AIADMK targeted the state government over the incident. CM MK Stalin introduced the bill. It was supported by Congress, AIADMK, PMK and other parties. BJP boycotted the move opposing this move.

What does the bill say?
The recommendations of the High Level Committee have been cited in the Bill. In this, the government has decided to do away with the requirement of NEET for admission to medical courses at the graduate level. Admission to such courses will be done on the basis of marks obtained in class 12th examination. As per the provisions, admission to undergraduate level courses in medical colleges in Tamil Nadu will be made on the basis of marks obtained in class 12 in Medical, Dental, Ayurveda and Homeopathy. The Tamil Nadu government has proposed to give 7.5% reservation of total seats in medical colleges to students studying in government schools.

Why was the decision taken?
With this bill, the intention of the state government is that the students in its state should not be dependent on the central exam. They get exemption from this. NEET is not the only way for students to get admission in medical colleges. Its objective is social justice and protection of students from backward and economically weaker communities from discrimination. The state government says that due to the only one day examination at the national level, there is a lot of stress on the children. At the same time, engineering students have the option of appearing in both the state and national level exams. NEET is the only way for the students who aspire to get admission in medical at the state and national level.

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How was the decision taken?
The Tamil Nadu government had constituted a committee to study the social and economic impact of the NEET entrance exam. The committee had found that the performance of students admitted to medical colleges on the basis of NEET is less than the students who get admission in Class 12 scores. The analysis also revealed that children from rich families score better in exams.

the case How did you get caught?
Dhanush, a 19-year-old student from a village near Salem, committed suicide hours before appearing for the NEET exam on Sunday. He was afraid of failing in the exam. After this the atmosphere against NEET heated up. There has been a demand to abolish NEET in the state. Eventually the Tamil Nadu government passed the bill against it on Monday.

What is the way ahead?
The alternate route for admission is yet to be decided. It has created a platform where the state and central government have to decide together how to exempt the state from this national examination. By the way, the central government is already considering the option of conducting NEET at least twice a year. However, a consensus has not yet been reached on this. The bill has been passed in the state, but it is yet to become a law. Now it will be presented before the Governor. They will have four options. First, to approve it. Second, to be sent to the President for consideration. Third, to stop it. Fourth, to send the bill again to the legislature for consideration.

opposition is going on
The notification regarding NEET was issued in 2010. It was opposed by many states including Tamil Nadu. The notification was based on the idea that there should be a common entrance test instead of multiple exams. This will save both time and money of the students. NEET exam was held for the first time on May 5, 2013. In July 2013, the Supreme Court struck down this saying that it cannot be imposed on the states. However, in 2016, a special bench of the Supreme Court reversed the earlier decision. It allowed the Center and the Medical Council of India (MCI) to organize it. Abolition of NEET has been the election agenda in the state. In 2017, the AIADMK-led government had tried to abolish NEET in the state through an ordinance. However, it could not get the President’s assent. Before the assembly elections, the DMK had promised to abolish NEET in the state.

[Attribution to NBT]

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