Tamil Nadu government will introduce a bill to seek exemption for its students from the centralised medical entrance exam – NEET 2021. The state government claims that the centralised, single-day exam puts pressure on students. It had earlier set up a committee to study the social and economic impacts of NEET. The committee had found that students who get admissions to medical colleges based on NEET perform poorer than those who get admissions based on class 12 scores. The report also suggested that students from affluent families tend to score better in the exam.
As per the bill, students can also be admitted to medical colleges based on class 12 score and NEET will not be the only gateway. A policy note (2021-22) tabled by Health Minister Ma Subramanian in the Assembly for his department said this initiative would ensure social justice and protect all vulnerable student communities from being discriminated against admission to medical education programmes.
The demand for scrapping the exam escalated on social media platforms yesterday when a 19-year-old had allegedly died of suicide fearing failure in medical entrance exams. After the demise of the NEET aspirants, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister said that the “legal battle to scrap NEET will continue”.
The state claims that having a single day exam puts a lot of pressure on students. Unlike engineering aspirants who have state and central level exams, for medical aspirants there is only one exam – NEET – for admission to both centre and state level colleges.
The Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health were in discussions to hold the medical entrance exam twice a year. While this was proposed to be implemented this year, it could not be put into place due to a lack of consensus. As reported by news18.com earlier, the talks on holding the exam more than once a year are still on.
To ensure that students from across social and economic backgrounds stand a chance to become doctors, the government has also introduced reservations for EWS and OBC candidates. This is in addition to existing reservations for SC, ST candidates. In addition to 15% reservation offered to SC and 7.5% to ST category students, 27% seats will be reserved for OBC and 10% for EWS category students in medical admissions under All India Quota (AIQ).