NEET 2018: Govt, Dhinakaran to Offer Travel Aid to TN Students

The TN government will give Rs 1,000 and second-class tickets to students taking the exam at outstation centres.

Updated
India
4 min read
Massive outrage over NEET sparked when students in Tamil Nadu were assigned centres far away  in Kerala, Karnataka and Rajasthan.
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As thousands of medical aspirants brace themselves to write the upcoming National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) on 6 May in outstation centres far away from home, the Tamil Nadu government and citizens have stepped forward to offer financial help.

The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister’s office has announced a toll-free helpline – 14417 – to assist students. In addition, the government has also announced an allowance of Rs 1,000 to the affected students and second-class railway tickets.

The TTV Dhinakaran-led Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK) on Friday, 4 May, announced that it will help NEET aspirants from the state who have been allotted exam centres in Kerala with lodging facilities, IANS reported.

The party has made arrangements to provide travel assistance to Tamil Nadu students who need accommodation and route guidance to the exam centres, Dhinakaran told The News Minute (TNM). 

In a statement, the nephew of jailed ex-AIADMK General Secretary VK Sasikala deemed CBSE’s move as a "reflection of the central government's anti-Tamil Nadu attitude," the TNM report added.

In a big jolt to the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) aspirants from Tamil Nadu, the Supreme Court on Thursday stayed a Madras High Court directive asking CBSE to setup additional NEET centres in the state for the upcoming test on Sunday, May 6, The News Minute reported.

The apex court accepted CBSE’s plea challenging the Madras High Court’s 27 April order that new exam centres for the Tamil Nadu students cannot be established at such short notice.

The SC order at the eleventh hour sparked massive outrage in the state, since students have been assigned centres far away in Kerala, Karnataka and Rajasthan.

According to TNM, the regional CBSE office in Chennai said that 5,371 students who chose Ernakulam as their second or third centre will have have to write the examination from centres in Ernakulam.

Financial Support Pours in

In addition to dealing with the stress of writing the exam, students now also have to worry about the logistics of travelling to the location. Twitter users decided to come to the rescue of underprivileged students who may not be able to travel to their centres in other states, The News Minute reported.

Some users offered to sponsor students’ travel, while others offered help in the cities that the students have been allotted centres, the report added.

According to TNM, the Rajasthan Tamil Sangam in Jaipur has also offered to help students travelling to Rajasthan for writing NEET with accommodation and travel.

The Rajasthan Tamil Sangam can be contacted at:

Mr Muruganandam: 9790783187
Mrs Soundarvalli: 8696922117
Mr Bharthi: 7357023549

Actor Prasanna also tweeted that he would like to sponsor the travel expenses of two underprivileged students.

No Reallocation of Centres: NEET Director

Despite the uproar, NEET authorities confirmed to TNM that reallocation of centres is highly unlikely since the exam is slated to be held within the two days. However, he assured that students will face no confusion with regard to taking the exam in their own language at the outstation centres.

The director of NEET said that more than a lakh students have been accommodated within the state, and all efforts were being made to accommodate the rest.

With the rise in the number of candidates by 31 percent since last year, the centres were subsequently increased by 25 percent, the director told TNM.

Last year 82,000 candidates appeared for NEET from Tamil Nadu. We were able to accommodate all of them within the state. However, this year the number of candidates has risen by 31 percent. We increased the number of centres in Tamil Nadu by 25 percent and have even asked centres to accommodate students to its full capacity. 
Sanyam Bharadwaj, NEET Director (New Delhi) to TNM

“NEET centres need to have a certain level of infrastructure in place, which is why we cannot add more centres in Tamil Nadu now,” he added.

As TN Riles Up, Prominent Figures Take to Twitter in Protest

Actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan said that in this digital age, expecting the students of Tamil Nadu to travel to Rajasthan or Kerala for NEET exam is not fair.

“In this digital age, it is injustice to make Tamil students run to Kerala, Rajasthan for writing NEET. They can write from here, right? The government and administration should make arrangements for this,” Haasan tweeted.

According to TNM, DMK spokesperson Saravanan Annadurai stated that the shocking SC order asking students to travel thousands of kilometres reeks of “elitism.”

“Who will bear the cost and inconvenience? Is that not the direct result of the incompetence of the CBSE which conducts it?” he added.

(With inputs from The News Minute, ANI, IANS )

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