Stalin government bans NEET

Taking into account concerns of elite only exclusive side NEET exams, Tamil Nadu government has passed the Tamil Nadu Admission to Undergraduate Medical Degree Courses Bill on Monday. The bill seeks to offer admission to students based on the 12th marks and no longer on the ranks scored in the NEET exam, for their undergraduate seats in medicine (MBBS). This move has for name’s sake banned NEET in the state. However, this will only be applicable if president of the country, Ramnath Kovind signs off the bill as it goes against a national law. If the new bill gets presidential approval, students who aspire to get admitted into medicine (MBBS) can apply on the basis of the marks they scored in 12th. This will come into effect from next year if it gains assent from the president. This year’s admissions will be done through the NEET results.

All parties in the state except the BJP, in the opposition said ‘yes’ to the bill. The bill has great momentum in Tamil Nadu as Dravidian parties has observed NEET exam only caters to affluent, elite students who have access to expensive private tuitions and coaching. This puts students from economically and socially backward spaces in a disadvantage as they have less to no access to such resources. In June 2021, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin appointed a committee under retired justice A K Rajan to study the impact of NEET and the aspects of coaching centres in the state. The study found out that the entrance exam favours rich and elite students who were mostly upper caste and had access to private coaching. It negatively affected both urban and rural students whose families earned less than 2.5 lakhs per annum. The panel also observed that if the entrance exam continued to be the determining factor for selecting MBBS students, then the state wouldn’t have doctors to work in the primary health centres which is the crux of a state’s health care.

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