- Tamil Nadu will soon bring a legislation seeking exemption from the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) for admission into undergraduate medical colleges and send it to the President of India for his assent, the health department said on Thursday.
PUBLISHED ON SEP 02, 2021 10:28 PM IST
Tamil Nadu will soon bring a legislation seeking exemption from the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) for admission into undergraduate medical colleges and send it to the President of India for his assent, the health department said on Thursday.
Presenting the department’s policy note, health minister M Subramanian, said a Committee of Secretaries headed by the chief secretary Irai Anbu has suggested promulgating an Act indicating the need for elimination of NEET in medical education. “This will ensure social justice and protect all vulnerable student communities from being discriminated against in admission to medical education programmes,” he said. Tamil Nadu has been consistently opposing NEET for admission to medical courses.
Recalling that the Government constituted a high-level committee under the chairmanship of retired Justice A K Rajan to study the impact of NEET on socially and economically backward students, the minister said the committee submitted the report to the government in July and majority of stakeholders had opposed the exam. NEET is an emotive issue in Tamil Nadu with more than a dozen students from poor and rural backgrounds dying by suicide related to the exam. The issue has also gone through several legal and political wrangles. The AIADMK government in 2017 passed two bills seeking exemption from NEET but were rejected by the Centre.
The minister also announced 11 new government medical colleges to be established in the state in the districts of Ramanathapuram, Virudhunagar, Nilgiris, Dindigul, Tiruppur, Namakkal, Nagapattinam, Krishnagiri, Tiruvallur, Kallakurichi and Ariyalur with an intake of 150 MBBS seats each. “Administrative and financial sanctions have been accorded for construction of buildings and creation of new posts as per the National Medical Commission norms. Now the construction of buildings is in progress,” he said.
The minister went into detail on how the state managed Covid-19 during the second wave when the DMK government took over in May. “Present thrust is on vaccination and localised containment and active surveillance..” he said. “With the vaccine drive, and continued vigil, it is hoped that the impact of Covid-19 will come down further in the coming days.” As hospital and oxygen support infrastructure is being augmented, he added that currently Tamil Nadu has a storage capacity of around 1794.75 MT of Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO).