Major political parties in Tamil Nadu have opposed the conduction of the upcoming National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) and other similar examinations for all professional and other courses. While Chief Minister MK Stalin wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday, AIADMK leader O Panneerselvam also backed the demand.
In his letter, Stalin urged the prime minister to cancel all national level tests like NEET and allow Tamil Nadu to fill professional seats, including the MBBS, based on Class 12 marks. "Conducting national level entrance exams for any professional courses would be immensely detrimental to the health and well being of students. I urge you to cancel the conduct of all national level entrance exams like NEET, as the same reasons adduced for cancelling the Class 12 board exams are equally applicable to entrance exams as well. Our state may be allowed to fill all professional seats including MBBS seats on the basis of Class 12 marks alone, as we have always emphasised," Stalin wrote.
One of the grounds for their opposition is that such tests went against social justice and denied opportunities toM students from socially disadvantaged groups and aspirants from rural regions. NEET continues to be one of the much politically debated issues in Tamil Nadu.
Panneerselvam, in his letter, recalled that former CM Jayalalithaa opposed NEET till her last breath. "I would also like to point out here that Hon. Amma took number of steps starting from 2005 towards systematising the admission process to medical colleges including abolition of entrance examinations by enacting the Tamil Nadu Regulation of Admission in Professional Courses Act, 2006. Following the footsteps of Amma, during the year 2017, two bills, namely Tamil Nadu Admission to MBBS and BDS courses Bill, 2017 and the Tamil Nadu Admission to Post Graduate Courses in Medicine and Dentistry Bill providing admission in medical courses based on 12th standard examination marks were unanimously passed in the Tamil Nadu Legislative assembly and the same were sent to the Union government for obtaining presidential assent but unfortunately that went in vain," he said.
Enlisting difficulties faced by students, the AIADMK leader requested Modi to take a uniform policy decision to abolish not only NEET for enrolment in medical courses but also the Common Entrance Examinations for all the professional and other courses forever. It requested PM to allow the states to make admissions based on the marks obtained by students in the higher secondary examination.