The Tamil Government has decided to promulgate an ordinance to give one-year exemption to State board students from National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test( NEET) and admit them to government medical colleges on the basis of marks got by them in Plus 2 examination.
This follows an explicit statement by Union Minister from the State Nirmala Sitaraman to reporters that the Centre is ready to give assent to such an ordinance to safeguard the interests of students from rural areas who have been badly affected by NEET.
However, made it clear that admissions should be restricted to government medical colleges as private colleges have already admitted students on the basis of their performance in NEET.
Responding to Sitraman’s statement , State Health Minister C Vijayabhaskar said that the ordinance would be readied tomorrow morning and three top officials, including Health and Law Secretarys, would fly to New Delhi with the draft to get the approval from the Union Home, Law and Health Ministries.
Once the draft gets the green signal, the ordinance will be promulgated by the State Governor.
The DMK and the PMK have termed the move to seek temporary exemption from NEET as a betrayal of the State’s interests by the Edappadi Government . They have said the AIADMK should have used its support to BJP nominees for the posts of President and Vice-President conditional upon Central assent to the two bills that seek permanent exemption.
The Centre refused to give assent to the bill precisely because they sought a permanent exemption when all other States have fallen in line.
The Centre’s line has been reinforced by the Supreme Court’s latest judgment quashing the GO providing for permanent exemption from NEET. The court said if the State wanted to get such exemption, it should take recourse to the legal route. Even so, no State law could be in conflict with the Central law, it had said.
Once the ordinance is issued, it will replace the two bills. Further, if it is to achieve objective of giving adequate representation to rural students in medical courses, the courts may let it pass. The Medical Council India itself has said that it exempted Tamil Nadu in2016 to prepare for NEET.
The ordinance will give more time to the State to upgrade the syllabi in government schools and coach the State board students to compete on an equal footing with those from the CBSE stream