Tamil Nadu to sponsor professional education of government school students: CM Stalin
Tamil Nadu chief minister MK Stalin on Monday announced that the state government would cover the full cost of professional education of students from government schools securing admission under the newly created 7.5% quota.
“The government would take care of tuition, college, and counselling fees,” Stalin said, after handing over allotment letters for the first batch of students. Stalin issued admission letters to 50 students who would be admitted to the premier Anna University in Chennai under the 7.5% quota. The newly carved out reservation will ensure that at least 10,000 students would be able to get into engineering colleges and 350 students would join other professional courses, Stalin added. “This will ensure that the families of students, their hometowns and the state are taking the path to development,” he said.
The chief minister likened this to a rural development scheme and the move comes ahead of rural local body polls scheduled for October in nine reconstituted districts. He recalled how, in 2016, the state had abolished the common entrance exam for professional courses as it put rural and poor students at a disadvantage. He added that the state has initiated a legal battle to abolish the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for undergraduates the same way. Three medical students in Tamil Nadu died by suicide fearing failure to crack NEET last week, taking the toll to more than 14 students deaths since the examination was introduced in the state in 2017. Last year, the AIADMK, during its regime, introduced a 7.5% horizontal reservation to government school students, who cleared the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for admissions into undergraduate medical colleges. A day after that the DMK, which was in opposition then, promised it would sponsor the tuition fee for government students in private colleges. Hours later, Palaniswami announced that they would come up with a revolving fund to pay the fees.
In August, Tamil Nadu passed a Bill in the assembly to provide 7.5% reservation to students who have studied from class 6 to 12 in state government schools for admissions into professional courses. These include engineering, law, veterinary, fisheries and agricultural courses in universities, private colleges, government, and government-aided colleges. The Bill stated that the government had decided to take affirmative action so as to bring about real equality between government school students and private school students by setting apart a certain percentage of seats on a preferential basis. The decision was based on the recommendation of the justice (retired) D Murugesan committee, which was constituted by the DMK soon after it formed the government to address the issue of fewer government students getting into professional courses. The commission recommended not less than 10% of seats be set apart for government students to enter professional courses without affecting the existing reservation of the state. Students from government schools who got admission in government engineering colleges are 6.31% while it is just 0.44% in government-aided colleges, Stalin had said in the assembly in August. Only 3% of those who joined veterinary courses and 4.89 % who joined agriculture courses had been from government schools. The Bill was passed unanimously with the support of all parties.