The Tamil Nadu government has demanded the Centre that their students be exempt from the ambit of National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (UG), (NEET), for admission to MBBS and BDS Courses for the academic year 2017.

The Deputy Speaker of Tamil Nadu Lok Sabha, M. Thambidurai & Health Minister, Vijayabhaskar called on the Commerce Minister, Nirmala Sitaraman to discuss the matter.

Meanwhile BJP leader, Tamilisai Soundaranjan has said, “It is not the central government which decides on NEET; it is the verdict of the Supreme Court (SC), one; another thing you are telling that all the students are desperate to avoid NEET; 80,000 students have appeared for the exam and more than 40,000 have gone through the exam.”

A Tamil Nadu Educationist, Prince Gajendra Babu, has made allegations on the BJP leader saying, “In the Inter-state Council meeting in 2016 she had read out Justice MM Poonchi’s recommendation that any bill if placed before the President should be cleared within 6 months and she demanded a complete exemption; why did the Central Government not, for the last 6 months, answer whether they will give the assent or not?”

Questioning the Centre’s delayed response and recklessness over the matter, he exclaimed, “When Tamil Nadu is boiling and so many parents are asking questions one of the central ministers replied that she will find out where the bill is.” Making direct allegations at the Centre he asked, “Can such an answer come from a centre’s minister? And why they are playing with the future of the people of Tamil Nadu?”  

While sharing his plight with NewsX one of the medical students said that to improve the quality of doctors the government should make changes in the MBBS course and not play with the eligibility for the UG exam.

Even after scoring exceptional grades in board exams these students are being forced to take up Engineering courses. In spite of the doubt hanging over the future of these students they are still waiting for some relief from the government. With the time crunch zeroing in; will the government arrange for an exemption for these aspiring medical students any soon?

The Tamil Nadu state government has been pressing for the Presidential assent that has been pending for more than 6 months, on the bills passed by the Tamil Nadu state assembly in February, namely, the Tamil Nadu Admissions to Post Grad. Courses in Medicine and Dentistry Bill, 2017 and the Tamil Nadu Admissions to MBBS and BDS Courses Bill 2017.

Earlier in April, the Chief Minister Eddapaddi Palaniswami, had written to the Centre to hasten the presidential assent on these bills. The Chief Minister had pointed out that the Centre had given assurances that, “NEET would not interfere with the reservation policy and that it is open for the State government to provide preferential marks to students who come from rural/hills/tribal area as is done in the case of admission to PG courses.”  

The Centre’s perpetual silence on the Bill has left numerous students in the dark in the state of Tamil Nadu.