Chennai, September 13
The Tamil Nadu Assembly on Monday adopted a Bill to dispense with the National Entrance-cum-Eligibility Test (NEET) and provide for admission to medical courses based on Class XII marks to ensure social justice.
The Bills adopted in 2017 for the same purpose during the AIADMK regime did not get the President’s assent.
The Bill’s passage comes against the backdrop of the suicide of a medical aspirant fearing outcome of the national test he was to take and the incident echoed in the House, with the main opposition AIADMK targeting the government.
Chief Minister M K Stalin introduced the Bill and all parties, including the main opposition AIADMK and its ally PMK, besides others like Congress, supported it and it was passed by a voice vote.
It seeks to provide for admission to UG courses in medicine, dentistry, Indian medicine and homeopathy on the basis of marks obtained in the qualifying examination, (Class XII). The opposition BJP staged a walkout, protesting against the government move.
Earlier, as soon as the House convened, Leader of the Opposition K Palaniswami referred to the suicide of 19-year-old Dhanush in his native Salem district on Sunday and targeted the government on the matter.
He said though the DMK had promised “cancelling” NEET, it was not done and several students had not prepared well. Some of his remarks were expunged by Speaker M Appavu.
On Sunday, hours before he was to appear for NEET for a third time, Dhanush, belonging to a village near Salem, died by suicide, fearing the outcome of the test he was to take. The incident triggered a blame game, with the AIADMK holding the DMK regime responsible for the death and the state government targeting the Centre.
Stalin, in his reply, said NEET was conducted for the first time in Tamil Nadu when Palaniswami was the Chief Minister and was not held even when the late J Jayalalithaa was the CM.