Lack of a level playing field and the resulting injustice done to socially backward students in the past few years in the wake of the ‘National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) based admissions to medical and dental colleges, has led the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Mr. M.K. Stalin to call for ‘united effort’ to restore the State Governments' “primacy in administering the Education sector, as envisaged in our Constitution.”
Seeking to escalate this issue at the pan-Indian level, Mr. Stalin on October 1 wrote to Chief Ministers of 12 States – Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Jharkhand, Kerala, Maharashtra, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Telangana, West Bengal and Goaseeking their cooperation in the efforts taken by Tamil Nadu to decouple the NEET from States.
Enclosing copies of the recently enacted “Tamil Nadu Admission to Undergraduate Medical Degree Courses Act, 2021”, passed by the Tamil Nadu Assembly, based on the recommendations of Justice A.K. Rajan Committee Report, to enable Tamil Nadu admit students to medical UG courses in State-run medical colleges on the basis of the students’ Plus-2 marks alone, Mr. Stalin urged all the 12 Chief Ministers to give a serious thought to alternative admission procedures to help free students from the clutches of NEET.
Mr. Stalin in his letter to these Chief Ministers has also enclosed copies of the report of the Rajan Committee, constituted by the Tamil Nadu Government, to study the impact of NEET on socially backward students, to suggest alternative admission procedures and the legal steps that need to be undertaken to “implement fair and equitable methods” in admissions to medical institutions.
Emphasizing that the NEET introduced by the Union Government went against the “spirit of federalism and violates the Constitutional balance of power by curbing the rights of the State governments to decide on the methods of admission in medical institutions founded, established and run by them,” Mr. Stalin said all State Governments need to assert “their constitutional right and position in deciding the method of admission to their higher educational institutions.”
Mr. Stalin also sought the support of the Chief Ministers of non-BJP ruled States in Tamil Nadu government’s efforts to protect the legitimate interests of particularly students hailing from rural areas and marginalized sections of society in obtaining admissions to higher educational institutions. All of us should put up a united effort in this regard, he urged.
Mr. Stalin has also instructed the DMK MPs’ to directly hand over translated copies of the Justice A.K. Rajan Committee Report to their counterparts from other States and brief them on the steps taken by Tamil Nadu so far in this regard (to get permanent exemption from NEET) and seek the support of all the States.