Another TN student dies by suicide allegedly fearing failure in NEET
A day after a 19-year-old man killed himself before the scheduled National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), an 18-year-old woman aspirant died by suicide over fears of not clearing the national entrance exam, police said.
The incident took place on Monday, when the Tamil Nadu government passed a bill exempting the state from the exam.
According to the police, the student was found dead in her home in Ariyalur district on Monday evening. Her parents claimed that she was upset as the exam appeared to be difficult.
“Her family said she found the exam paper tough though she was a bright student. We are investigating the cause of her death,” a police official in Ariyalur said on condition of anonymity.
Daughter of an advocate, the woman studied in a private school in Namakkal district and had secured 562 out of 600 marks in her Class 12 board examinations. A case of unnatural death under section 174 of the Indian Penal Code was registered, police said.
The NEET 2021 for admission in undergraduate medical courses was conducted across 202 cities on Sunday, after the Supreme Court recently rejected a plea by a group of students to postpone the exam. The top court said that it did not want to interfere with the process and it will be “very unfair” to reschedule the test.
In a statement condoling the 18-year-old’s death, chief minister MK Stalin said,.“I assure you there will be no compromise in our legal struggle to scrap NEET. We have to stop our dear students from taking their own lives and I’m saying this not just as a chief minister but also as their brother.”
On Monday, all political parties, except the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), supported the bill, Tamil Nadu Admission to Undergraduate Medical Degree Courses Act 2021, through voice vote to scrap the exam and admit students to undergraduate programmes in medicine on the basis of their performance in their Class 12 examinations — a move the state government said was in the interest of “social justice”.
The bill, which does not have any bearing on this year’s admissions, will need the approval of the President, who denied the same to a similar law passed by the state’s previous All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) government in 2017.
In Tamil Nadu, the argument against NEET has been that it disadvantages students from rural and poor backgrounds (who cannot afford coaching), and those studying in boards other than the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE).
At least a dozen aspirants have died by suicide ever since the exam was introduced in the state in 2017.
Accusing the ruling Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) of “playing politics” over the issue, former chief minister Edapaddi Palaniswami on Tuesday said the state government must “stop watching students die by suicide out of fear”.