Tamil Nadu seeks permanent exemption from NEET

SansadTV Bureau

File photo of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa in Chennai. Photo-PTI

A day after President of India signed the NEET ordinance exempting state run medical colleges from the ambit of the national level common entrance test, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa has asked to exempt Tamil Nadu forever.

“Continue (with) its existing fair and transparent system of admission to medical colleges and dental colleges in the state and not forced to implement the NEET even in the future,” said Jaya.

In her letter she said that NEET should “not (be) forced” on the state even in the future as its implementation would “nullify” specific policy initiatives and socio-economic objective of the state.

Jaya thanked PM Narendra Modi for “speedy promulgation” of an ordinance on Tuesday.

“For the time being, it put at rest the mental agony, stress and anxiety of lakhs of students and their parents aspiring for medical admission for the current year in the state quota,” said Jaya.

Jayalalithaa said that it addresses the issue temporarily for the current year. She recalled that her government had taken a number of steps since 2005 for systematising admission process to medical seats, even abolishing entrance exams by way of a legislation which she said was even upheld by the Court.

“This measure was taken keeping in view the interests of students, particularly from the weaker sections and rural areas, to ensure that a level playing field is created,” Jaya said in her letter

“Introduction of NEET would be a direct infringement on the rights of the State and would cause grave injustice to the students of Tamil Nadu who have already been covered by a fair and transparent admission policy laid down by the Government of Tamil Nadu, which has been working well,” she said.

Union Ministers Venkaiah Naidu, Thaawar Chand Gehlot and J P Nadda after a Cabinet meeting on Central Medical Exam NEET.  Photo: PTI

Union Ministers Venkaiah Naidu, Thaawar Chand Gehlot and J P Nadda after a Cabinet meeting on Central Medical Exam NEET.
Photo: PTI

President Pranab Mukherjee signed the ordinance keeping state boards out of the common entrance test (NEET) on Tuesday morning after his pointed queries were clarified by Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi and top Health Ministry officials.

Union Health Minister J P Nadda met the President on Monday and addressed his queries on three issues including different exams of state boards, syllabi and regional languages.

“Want to make it very clear that all private institutions and medical colleges will come under ambit of NEET. State Governments will get an opportunity to appear this year (2016-17) for under-graduate examinations,” said the Health Minister.

Earlier on Sunday, President Mukherjee sought legal advice on the ordinance to keep state boards out of the ambit of uniform medical entrance examination, NEET, for this year.

The NEET ordinance cleared by cabinet on Friday exempts government run medical colleges in states from a national level common medical test. Government brought in the ordinance to relax these colleges from the Supreme Court verdict which said all government colleges, deemed universities and private medical colleges would be covered under NEET.

Different states earmark anything between 12-15 per cent seats in various private medical colleges for state quota so that students from one state can get seat in another state. The remaining seats in such colleges are reserved for domicile students, after the ordinance, the remaining seats will come under NEET.

More than 15 states were opposed to NEET and had raised issues like different syllabus and languages during the recent state health ministers’ meeting. The next phase of the exam is scheduled for July 24. Nearly 6.5 lakh students have already taken the medical entrance test in the first phase of NEET held on May 1. Once the ordinance is issued, students of state government boards will not have to sit for NEET on July 24.