The Tamil Nadu government on Monday handed over to the Centre a draft of the proposed ordinance it plans to enact to give exemption to students from the NEET examination for admission to government colleges in the state.
Tamil Nadu Health Secretary J. Radhakrishnan handed over the documents to R.K. Mitra, Joint Secretary in the Union Home Ministry, a day after Union Minister Nirmala Sitaraman said the Centre would consider such a request for just one year.
The National Eligibility cum Entrance Test or NEET-UG is an entrance examination in India for students who wish to study any graduate medical course in government or private medical colleges in India for MBBS and BDS courses conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE).
It replaced the All India Pre Medical Test (AIPMT) and all individual MBBS exams conducted by states or colleges. However, many colleges and institutes had taken a stay order and conducted private examinations for admission to their MBBS and BDS courses.
There is a broad political consensus against the NEET exams in Tamil Nadu, with parties demanding a permanent exemption and not just a temporary relief.
Senior counsel Nalini Chidambaram, who has taken up the cause of students in favour of NEET, described the ordinance as an “eyewash” being done in the name of rural students.
She said the number of rural students seeking admission amounted to just 250 of the 10,000 medical seats in the state. The rural students would not benefit from this ordinance, she said, adding it was being done with an eye on the management quota seats.
Nalini Chidambaram said the ordinance was unconstitutional and would be challenged in courts.