The Tamil Nadu is expected to issue an ordinance by Thursday to exempt State board students from the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for admissions in the government medical colleges this academic year.
A draft of the ordinance was presented by Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan to joint secretary in the Union Home Minister R K Mitra who circulated to concerned ministries like Health, Law and HR, besides senior Supreme Court advocate K K Venugopal to ensure that it does not go the way a GO which was quashed by the high court and later by the Supreme Court as unconstitutional on the ground that it discriminated against CBSE students.
Despite such through whetting, senior advocate Nalini Chidambaram who has been fighting on behalf of the CBSE, has said the proposed ordinance “ is a fraud on the Constitution” and that it has got the Centre nod only as a quid pro quo for the support extended by the AIADMK to BJP’s nominees in the President and Vice President elections.Unlike the two bills, for which the Centre refused to give assent as they sought permanent exemption to Tamil Nadu students from NEET, the ordinance seeks only a one-year exemption to admit students in Government colleges on the basis of their performance in Plus 2 examinations.
Tamil Nadu contends that NEET puts State board students at an inherent disadvantage as it is based on CBSE syllabus. It also contends that the policy decision is aimed at giving adequate representation to students from rural areas.The one year time is to upgrade the syllabus in State board and coach these students so they can be better prepared to face competition.Even so, the ordinance can be taken to court as Nalini promises to do. But generally courts loathe to interefere with admission process as it has to be completed before Aug 31 and the future of thousands of students hangs in the balance.