Tamil Nadu passes bill to scrap NEET, here are key points to explain why it opposes centralised medical exam

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CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu government led by Chief Minister MK Stalin on Monday (September 13) passed a Bill seeking to scrap NEET medical entrance examination in the state assembly.

The Bill seeks to allow admissions to MBBS and BDS courses based on the class 12th marks scored by the students. While the main opposition party AIADMK supported the Bill, its ally BJP staged a walkout.

The Tamil Nadu government tabled the Bill seeking exemption for its students from the centralised medical entrance exam – NEET 2021. The bill was tabled in the Assembly by Chief Minister MK Stalin in the assembly.

Here are some key points to explain why it opposes the centralised medical exam 

 

– The National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test is not a fair or equitable method of admission since it favoured the rich and elite sections of society, the preamble of the Bill to override NEET says.

-The Tamil Nadu Admission to Undergraduate Medical Degree Courses Bill is based on the recommendations of a panel led by Justice AK Rajan constituted by the MK Stalin government to study the impact of NEET and the mushrooming coaching centres.

– NEET has caused a huge financial burden to students from the socially and economically backward classes, the Bill states. 

-Students from affluent sections, after completing UG courses do not serve in rural areas and they often pursue PG courses abroad. “Thus, the number of serving doctors in the state is declining,” it says.

-If NEET continues, it will adversely affect the healthcare system in the state as there will not be enough doctors at Primary Health Centres, the bill says citing the observations made by the panel.

-The NEET has undermined the diverse societal representation in MBBS and higher medical studies favouring mainly the affordable and affluent segments while thwarting the dreams of underprivileged social groups to pursue medical education, it adds 

-The Bill states that in medical education, NEET has given up the representation of sections having low socio-economic and other demographic status. Social groups most affected were the students of Tamil medium, having a rural background of government schools, those having a parental income of less than Rs 2.5 lakh per annum and the socially depressed and disadvantaged groups like the Most Backward Classes, the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.

-The findings indicate that the NEET has only enabled and empowered comparatively low performing (in NEET score and Class XII score) students to get admission to MBBS. “Therefore, the question of NEET ensuring quality and merit of students is to be ruled out.” 

-The Bill argues that comparatively, it has been observed that the Class XII marks-based admissions during the pre-NEET period ensured entry of quality and meritorious students. Admissions based on Class XII marks would in no way lower the standard of education since the higher secondary syllabus is of a sufficient standard.

-If the Bill gets the Presidential assent, students in the state will be able to get entry to medical colleges on basis of their marks in Class 12 board exams.

-The Bill rejects the argument that NEET has improved the standard of medical education. It states that the standard of medical education is maintained during the UG course by following the syllabus prescribed by the National Medical Commission and students who are not able to clear the university exams are not awarded degrees. 

-After considering the recommendations of the committee, the government said to ensure social justice, it has decided that the admission to UG courses in medicine, dentistry, Indian medicine and homeopathy in Tamil Nadu shall be made only based on the marks obtained in the higher secondary examination, Class XII or Plus Two. 

-Barring BJP, all other parties in Tamil Nadu are opposed to NEET and this issue became politically sensitive over the years following the suicide of 15 aspirants till date.

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