Chennai: The Tamil Nadu Admission to Undergraduate Medical Degree Courses Bill, 2021 (Anti-NEET bill) was passed by the Tamil Nadu Assembly on Monday, 13 September. Chief Minister MK Stalin introduced the bill, which seeks permanent exemption from the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET).
This comes after a 20-year-old student died by suicide in Tamil Nadu’s Salem district, hours before he was scheduled to appear for NEET.
All parties, including the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), except for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), voted in favour of the bill.
Speaking in the Assembly, the CM cast aspersions on the AIADMK and stated, “You were in alliance with Centre, you still are. When it came to voting for CAA and farm laws, you should’ve imposed condition of exemption from NEET. You didn’t have courage to raise your voice, you ruled in silence until death of aspirants.”
He went on to urge all members of the Assembly to support the bill and said that the government is taking all ‘constructive steps to cancel NEET exam and enrol students in medical education on basis of Class 12 marks’.
AIADMK welcomed the NEET bill and Opposition leader Edappadi K Palaniswami said, “We have passed a similar resolution earlier and it didn’t work out in multiple stages, hence we bought the 7.5% horizontal reservation for government school students in medical colleges.”
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLAs staged a walkout opposing the Bill.
“Today, I have presented the resolution against NEET. You (AIADMK) also brought this resolution. I urge Opposition parties to extend their support to this resolution,” Stalin also said in the Assembly.
AIADMK had accused the DMK of not fulfilling its election promise to abolish NEET. Former CM Palaniswami said this had led to confusion among students who weren’t sure if the examinations will be held this year. “There is no clear stand taken by the DMK government on NEET,” he had said.
Stalin had offered condolences to the student’s family on Sunday and appealed to the students to stay calm. “NEET caused atrocities towards poor children from both rural and urban backgrounds, who, even after two attempts, were unable to clear it, which hurt Dhanush who died by suicide. Union government is showing negligence and being adamant about understanding the troubles caused by NEET for the students, which has become the reason for their suicide,” he said.