Chennai: The Tamil Nadu Assembly on Friday once again passed a unanimous resolution urging the Centre to exempt the state from National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test and allow it to admit students to medical courses based on Plus Two exam marks. The resolution, adopted by the House amid the BJP’s opposition and walkout, called upon the Centre to amend the National Medical Commission Act and abolish the country-wide screening test taking into account the irregularities and increasing opposition to the test in several states, which toed Tamil Nadu’s line.

BJP’s ally, the PMK, however supported the resolution piloted by Chief Minister and DMK president M K Stalin, who argued that the test was discriminatory and deprived an opportunity for the rural and poor students to access medical education and denied states their rights to admit students with Plus Two marks as the qualifying criteria.

BJP leader Nainar Nagendran argued that the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) was required as it had many benefits.

On the argument that the poor and rural students found it difficult to pursue medical education because of the test, he said then Union Health Minister J P Nadda and then Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami ensured 7.5 per cent reservation for state government school students who passed the test.

“NEET is needed. The Assembly resolution against NEET is unacceptable and we are staging a walkout,” Nagendran said and walked out along with the BJP legislators.

The principal opposition AIADMK was not present in the House as all the members were suspended for the brief session concluding on June 29 for disrupting the House over the Kallakurichi hooch tragedy incident.

Moving the resolution, Stalin said apart from making medical education inaccessible to the poor and rural students, NEET will affect the medical services in the rural and backward areas.

“The DMK has consistently been opposing NEET since it was made mandatory in 2017 and had even launched a massive signature campaign aiming to abolish the test,” the Chief Minister said and recalled the two earlier Assembly resolutions adopted by the House seeking presidential assent to exempt Tamil Nadu from NEET.

Further, the irregularities in the conduct of NEET, scams that surfaced in many states and grace marks that were awarded and later rescinded, leading to the Centre order an enquiry by the CBI, led to the states opposing the test, he said.

Stalin referred to the letters written by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav, leader of the Opposition Rahul Gandhi, and RJD leader Tejaswi Yadav to the Centre demanding scrapping of the NEET in the aftermath of irregularities in the conduct of the test.

“The voice of Tamil Nadu has now become the voice of the country,” he said and appealed to the members to support his resolution against NEET.

“NEET should be abolished. Tamil Nadu should be allowed to admit students to medical courses taking the Plus Two marks as the qualifying criteria. Taking into account the irregularities in several states and opposition to the test, the Centre should appropriately amend the National Medical Commission Act to totally scrap NEET,” the resolution said.

It was unanimously passed, Speaker M Appavu said.

  • Published On Jun 28, 2024 at 04:37 PM IST

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