Three teenage girls in Tamil Nadu have committed suicide in the last two days since results of the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test for admission to medical courses came out on Wednesday. All three failed to crack the test and hanged themselves to death like the first victim Anitha who killed self in 2017.
Monisha from Marakkanam in Villupuram district died on Thursday after failing for the second time to pass the test. Daughter of a fisherman, she lost her mother recently and did not want to add to her father’s depression, officials said.
On Wednesday, S Ritusree and N Vaishya from Tirupur near Coimbatore ended their lives following their failure in the examination.
Anitha, the first victim from Perambalur near Tiruchi, was daughter of a cooley. Thanks to high marks, she got admission in engineering as well as veterinary science courses. But she was firm on becoming a doctor and she failed in NEET. She scored marks in State board exams because the stress was on rote learning. She could not crack NEET as it is on CBSE pattern where comprehension is the key to success.
Following Anitha’s suicide,Tamil Nadu Education Minister K A Sengottayan set up special coaching centres for medical aspirants across the State. He also set up experts committee to upgrade State syllabus to bring it on a par with the CBSE. He also got model questions prepared and distributed to students.
Experts gave two reasons for the high failure rate Tamil Nadu. One is that NEET is based on Central syllabus and students, mostly those from rural areas studying in State board, are disadvantaged. The second reason is that negative marks are given for wrong answers.
Despite agitation by both the ruling AIADMK and the opposition led by the DMK and others for exempting Tamil Nadu from NEET after Anitha’s suicide, and despite unanimous resolution passed in the State Assembly, the Centre has refused to grant exemption. Even the HRD Minister in the new Modi Government Prakash Javedakar has ruled it out.
The Supreme Court had upheld NEET and the State was given enough time to upgrade syllabus to make students competitive, the Modi Government reasoned.
The Students Federation of India and the Democratic Youth Federation have called for State-wide protests over the failure of the State Government to get the exemption.
The opposition and the students associations have said that Chief Minister Edappadi K Palanisami has failed to keep the promise he had made on the eve of the Lok Sabha polls that his AIADMK would fight to get Tamil Nadu exempted from NEET.