Tamil Nadu Parties to Send Anti-NEET Bill to Guv Again After Special Session
In September 2021, the Tamil Nadu Assembly had passed a bill against NEET after a 20-yr-old student died by suicide.
The Quint DAILY
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Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin on Saturday, 5 February, convened an all-party meeting after state governor RN Ravi returned a bill that would exempt students from appearing the National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test (NEET).
It was decided that a special session of the state Assembly will be convened soon to pass the bill again and send it back to the governor, who would then have to give his assent and forward the bill to the President.
"I met the governor over NEET exam issue... I appealed to PM in a virtual meeting when he opened 11 new medical colleges. Now the governor, after keeping our bill on his desk for 143 days, sent it back," Stalin said in the meeting.
Later in the evening, Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker M Appavu confirmed that the special session of the House will be held on 8 February to repass the Bill seeking exemption from NEET for Tamil Nadu.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) boycotted the meeting. Both are part of the National Democratic Alliance.
Anti-NEET Bill: A Background
In September 2021, The Tamil Nadu Assembly passed a bill against NEET after a 20-year-old student died by suicide, hours before he was scheduled to appear for the exam. All parties, including the AIADMK, except for the BJP, voted in favour.
The bill, called Tamil Nadu Admission to Undergraduate Medical Degree Courses Bill, 2021, sought permanent exemption for students from the NEET exam, which is the qualifying test for MBBS and BDS programmes in Indian medical and dental colleges.
Five months later, in February state governor RN Ravi has returned it to the Assembly for reconsideration.
A release from the Governor's office said that after a detailed study, the Governor has found that the bill is against the interests of the students, especially rural and economically backward students of the state.
The Governor also cited the Supreme Court's judgment in the Christian Medical College case where the apex court had comprehensively examined the issue from a social justice perspective as well and had upheld NEET as “it prevents economic exploitation of poor students and is in furtherance of social justice”.
“On the 53rd death anniversary of Perarignar Anna, I am thinking of the words he roared years ago: Does a goat need a beard, does a country need a governor? #StandForStateRights”.MK Stalin on Twitter
Now that the Governor has sent the bill back, the Tamil Nadu Assembly can consider the changes and pass a modified bill or pass the same bill again. If the state government sends it back h
Since the inception of NEET, students, parents, teachers, and political parties in the state have been protesting to scrap the examination. The state has witnessed multiple instances of students’ death by suicide, citing NEET as the reason.
(With inputs from ANI and IANS)
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