NEET or not, the study of medicine for students in Tamil Nadu is going to be arduous and unpredictable.
NEET or not, the study of medicine for students in Tamil Nadu is going to be arduous and unpredictable.(Photo Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons/Altered by The Quint)
  • 1. The Beginning: A Sensationalised Suicide
  • 2. ‘Copycat’ Suicides
  • 3. The Media Wave
  • 4. No Place for Protest
  • 5. No Reservations?
  • 6. Tamil Nadu’s Caste Divide
  • 7. The Opaque BC Category
  • 8. State Board vs CBSE
  • 9. TN Board Goes to DU
  • 10. The Problem with NEET and Autonomy
  • 11. Is NEET a Difficult Test?
  • 12. An Alternative Viewpoint
  • 13.
Why Is Tamil Nadu Against NEET?

Tamil Nadu has had a history of strong objection to medical admissions on the basis of NEET marks, but this year, it seems to have overcome that by bettering its last performance. The pass percentage this year is 48.57 percent as against 39.56 percent in 2018.

However, the suicides of two students have rattled the state.

Rithu Shree from Viliyankadu in Tirupur district and Vaishya from Pattukottai district had scored above 90 percent marks in the 12 standard board examinations. But both of them couldn’t clear the entrance test. Feeling dejected, they decided to end their lives.

The National Eligibility and Entrance Test (NEET) once again continues to be a highly emotive issue in Tamil Nadu. There are three major issues of contention surrounding NEET:

  • Suicides
  • Reservation (and Caste)
  • Eligibility
  • 1. The Beginning: A Sensationalised Suicide

    It’s easy to ignore a suicide, even in a state like Tamil Nadu that records over 24% of suicides.

    Everyone seems to have their fair share of family problems. (4,842 family issues-related suicides in 2014).

    Everyone faces rejections in relationships. (512 ‘love failure’ suicides)

    Everyone has their own exams to write. (238 exam/academics-related)

    Despite the lack of counselling, awareness, intention, or helplines like Sneha, the suicides this year and that of 17-year-old medical aspirant Anitha in 2018 shook Tamil Nadu. It became a rallying cry for anti-NEET voices.

    For an individual case of suicide to receive such media attention, when hundreds of students in the state commit suicide over their education each year, is dangerous.

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