3 Feb 2022 2:20 PM GMT
The Governor of Tamil Nadu, Dr. RN Ravi today returned the bill passed by the state assembly last year 'dispensing' with the requirement to qualify National Entrance-cum-Eligibility Test (NEET) for getting admission to medical seats.The bill has been returned to the Speaker of Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly for its reconsideration by the House with an opinion that it is against the interests...
The Governor of Tamil Nadu, Dr. RN Ravi today returned the bill passed by the state assembly last year 'dispensing' with the requirement to qualify National Entrance-cum-Eligibility Test (NEET) for getting admission to medical seats.
The bill has been returned to the Speaker of Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly for its reconsideration by the House with an opinion that it is against the interests of the students, especially the rural and economically poor students of the State.
In his opinion for returning the bill, the Governor has also referred to the Supreme Court ruling in the case of Christian Medical College, Vellore Association Vs. Union of India (2020), wherein it upheld NEET while holding that uniform Entrance Examination (NEET) cannot be said to be an unreasonable regulatory framework.
Tamil Nadu Governor returns bill passed by TN Assembly to dispense with the requirement of #NEET pass for medical admissions. Governor says the Bill is against the interests of students and adds that Supreme Court has approved NEET. pic.twitter.com/edD4xbccJ9— Live Law (@LiveLawIndia) February 3, 2022
Tamil Nadu Governor returns bill passed by TN Assembly to dispense with the requirement of #NEET pass for medical admissions. Governor says the Bill is against the interests of students and adds that Supreme Court has approved NEET. pic.twitter.com/edD4xbccJ9
The Complete text of the press release by the Governor could be read here:
"The Hon'ble Governor of Tamil Nadu, after detailed study of the L.A.Bill No.43 of 2021 for admission to Undergraduate Medical Courses seeking exemption from NEET, and the Report of the High Level Committee constituted by the State Government in this regard which is the basis for the Bill and also examining the pre-NEET status of social justice in Medical admission especially for students coming from socially and economically poor background, is of the opinion that the Bill is against interests of the students specially the rural and economically poor students of the State. Hence, the Hon'ble Governor has returned the Bill to the Hon'ble Speaker, Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly on February 01, 2022, giving detailed reasons, for its re-consideration by the House. The Hon'ble Supreme Court in Christian Medical College, Vellore Association Vs. Union of India (2020) also has comprehensively examined the issue specially from the Social Justice perspective and upheld NEET as it prevents economic exploitation of poor students and is in furtherance of social justice."
The background of the Bill
The Bill named 'The Tamil Nadu Admission to Undergraduate Medical Degree Courses Bill, 2021' provided that admissions to UG courses in medicine, dentistry, Indian medicine and homeopathy would be made on the basis of marks obtained by a student in Class XII through the "normalization methods".
Section 3 of the Bill said that notwithstanding anything contained in any other law or any rules, regulations, notifications or by-laws, admission in every Government Seat shall be made by the appropriate authority on the basis of marks obtained by the student in the relevant subjects in the qualifying examination.
Also, Section 6 of the Bill provided that 7.5% of Government Seats will be reserved for students from Government schools. This will be subject to the other rules of reservation.
Government Seats mean all seats in MBBS, BDS, BSMS, BAMS, BUMS and BHMS Courses in Government Colleges, excluding seats reserved under "All India Quota" and 65% of such seats in non-minority educational institutions and 50% of such seats in minority educational institutions and the seats arrived at in accordance with the consensus between such institutions and the government.
Earlier, the admissions in Tamil Nadu for medical and other related courses were based on class XII marks only, however, in the year 2017, NEET was made compulsory for the students across all states and education boards.
The Bill further seeks to ensure social justice, uphold equality and equal opportunity, protect all vulnerable student communities from being discriminated and to bring them to the mainstream of medical and dental education, and in turn, to ensure robust public healthcare across Tamil Nadu, particularly the rural areas.
Significantly, the BILL was a result of a conclusion arrived at by a committee appointed by the Tamil Nadu Government under the chairmanship of retired High Court judge A.K. Rajan, which had observed that the NEET does not seem to ensure merit or standard of the students being offered MBBS under its purview.
In its report submitted to the state government, the Committee had said that NEET had clearly undermined the diverse societal representation in MBBS and higher medical studies favoring mainly the affordable and affluent segment of the society, while equally thwarting the dreams of pursuing medical education by the underprivileged social groups.
The report also stated that NEET is not a fair or equitable method of admission since it favors the rich and elite sections of the society.
The Committee had also concluded, as the bill notes, that if NEET is allowed to continue for a few more years, the healthcare system of Tamil Nadu will ne badly affected and that there may not be enough doctors for being posted at PHCs or Government Hospitals and that the rural and urban poor may not be able to join the medical courses.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin introduced the Bill a day after a 19-year-old student from Salem district, who was supposed to sit for the exam, died allegedly by suicide, The Hindu reported.