The Tamil Nadu Government on Monday tabled a Bill to urge the Centre to abolish the medical entrance test NEET on grounds that it is adversely discriminatory to rural aspirants. Chief Minister MK Stalin tabled the Bill in the Assembly as the AIADMK staged a walkout condemning the death of a 20-year old NEET aspirant.
“DMK promised to abolish NEET before elections, why hasn’t it happened. DMK Govt’s ambivalent position has impacted students. DMK Government is responsible for the Death of aspirant Dhanush from Salem,” Edappadi Palaniswami said after staging a walkout.
A resolution urging the Centre to abolish NEET was moved by the AIADMK Government headed by Edappadi Palaniswami, but the move did not elicit the expected result.
The medical entrance test NEET has been an emotive issue in Tamil Nadu after an aspirant, Anitha, killed herself following the failure of her legal efforts to get an exemption from the test and get medical admissions through the state-conducted Board exams.
There have been numerous suicides — at least 15 according to the count of Chepauk MLA Udhayanidhi Stalin — in Tamil Nadu over the fear to pass the exam. Coaching centres, including government-run efforts, have sprung up to aid students to face the challenge but still, the support to rural aspirants pale in comparison to urban dwellers. On Sunday, Dhanush S, an aspirant from a village near Salem in Tamil Nadu, committed suicide out of fear that his third attempt might fail.
The political blame game between AIADMK and DMK began immediately after the news of the death of Dhanush broke out. While the AIADMK blamed the DMK for giving students ‘false hopes,’ Udhay Stalin put the blame of the Palaniswami Government for having done little to move the needle when it came to abolishing NEET.
The tabling of the Bill in Assembly formalises the opposition to NEET by the DMK Government. It sets the stage for State-Centre collaborative exchange over how to exempt the state from the controversial medical test.
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