Tamil Nadu chief minister Stalin reaches out to 12 CMs, seeks support against NEET

Tamil Nadu chief minister Stalin enclosed a copy of the Justice A K Rajan Committee report based on which a Bill was passed in the assembly last month to dispense with NEET and provide for admission to medical courses based on Class 12 marks to ensure social justice.
Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin has also deputed his party MPs to reach out to the heads of such states to drum up support against NEET held for medical admissions. (Agencies)
Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin has also deputed his party MPs to reach out to the heads of such states to drum up support against NEET held for medical admissions. (Agencies)
Published on Oct 05, 2021 12:47 AM IST
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ByPress Trust of India, Chennai

Tamil Nadu chief minister M K Stalin has written to his counterparts in 11 non-BJP-ruled states and Goa, seeking their support to oppose the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) and restore “the primacy of states” in education, the government said on Monday.

Stalin has also deputed his party MPs to reach out to the heads of such states to drum up support against NEET held for medical admissions. In a letter to his counterparts, the chief minister reiterated his government’s opposition to NEET. “Our considered position has always been that the move by the union government to introduce NEET goes against the spirit of federalism and violates the constitutional balance of power by curbing the rights of the state governments to decide on the method of admission in the medical institutions founded, established and run by them,” he said. The state governments need to assert their constitutional right and position in deciding the method of admission to their higher educational institutions, Stalin urged in a letter dated October 1, made available to the media on Monday.

The CM enclosed a copy of the Justice A K Rajan Committee report based on which a Bill was passed in the assembly last month to dispense with NEET and provide for admission to medical courses based on Class 12 marks to ensure social justice. Also, a copy of that Bill, passed on September 13, was attached.

Stalin requested them to peruse the attached documents and extend their support to ensure that the students in the respective states, hailing from rural areas and marginalised sections of the society are not put to hardship in obtaining admissions to higher educational institutions. “We need to put up a united effort to restore the primacy of state governments in administering the education sector, as envisaged in our Constitution. I look forward to your cooperation in this crucial issue.” Stalin wrote to the chief ministers of Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Jharkhand, Kerala, Maharashtra, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Telangana, West Bengal and Goa.

The Justice Rajan panel, constituted by the government to ascertain the impact of NEET in the state, had submitted its 165-page report in July. The Bill, quoting the panel report, had said if NEET continued for a few more years, the health care system of Tamil Nadu would be very badly affected and there may not be enough doctors for postings in primary health centres or state-run hospitals and that the rural and urban poor may not be able to join the medical courses.

The committee had concluded that the NEET is not a fair or equitable method of admission since it favours the rich and elite section of the society and is against the disadvantaged groups. The panel had recommended that “the state government may undertake immediate steps to eliminate NEET from being used in admission to medical programmes at all levels by following the required legal and or legislative procedures.”

SC dismisses plea seeking cancellation of NEET

The Supreme Court Monday refused to entertain a plea seeking cancellation of the NEET, undergraduate, held on September 12 on the ground that the examination was not conducted in a fair and transparent manner.

The apex court dismissed the plea saying that cancellation of the exam cannot be at the cost of lakhs of students.

A bench headed by Justice L Nageswara Rao, which stopped short of imposing 5 lakh cost, noted that the petitioner seeks setting aside the NEET-UG Exam and directing the National Testing Agency to conduct the exam afresh.

The basis is that CBI has registered 3 FIRs wherein it has stated that there has been impersonation of the candidates, the apex court noted.

“What kind of writs are filed under Article 32? Lakhs of people have taken these exams? When people come to you (advocate), don’t you say that these will be dismissed with cost? You now want to cancel the entire exam? You argue, we’ll deal with this at length and we’ll deal with you specially,” the bench also comprising Justice B R Gavai said.

Advocate Ninad Dogra, appearing for the petitioner, submitted that CBI has registered three FIRs and examination papers were leaked on WhatsApp.

The top court was hearing a plea filed by 20-year-old petitioner Saloni seeking cancellation of the NEET UG exam held on September 12, 2021, citing alleged malpractices and conducting the exam afresh.

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Monday, December 06, 2021