On Friday, 17-year-old student Anitha, who had taken the fight to the SC impleading herself as a respondent demanding an exemption to NEET for Tamil Nadu, committed suicide after she failed to get a medical seat. She had scored 1,176 out of 1,200 marks in her class 12 exams.
Members of SFI and CPI(M) held a protest in Chennai over the suicide, demanding the scrapping of NEET. They burnt effigies and chanted, “the state failed us”. Naam Tamilar Katchi members also paid tributes to her and staged a similar protest.
Speaking to ANI, Anita’s father said:
Despite facing financial difficulties, we still put her through school. She wanted to become a doctor. We thought she’ll get a seat because we are scheduled caste. But they implemented NEET and she failed it. She always told me she wanted to become a doctor and serve the poor. Outsiders are studying in Tamil Nadu. What kind of country are we living in? How is this fair? How is this just?
Bright Student Short of Marks in NEET
The 17-year-old daughter of a daily wage labourer was completely disillusioned and disappointed with the fact that she did not get a medical seat despite her efforts, and decided to kill herself at her home in Ariyalur.
If her board exam marks were considered for medical entrance, she had every likelihood of making it, as she had 196.75 out of 200. For engineering, she had scored 199.76 out of 200. However, her NEET scores did not make the cut: Anitha had scored only 86 out of 700 in the newly introduced entrance examination.
According to her relatives, she was extremely disappointed because she did not get a medical seat. She took the extreme step despite the fact that she had an Aeronautical Engineering seat at the prestigious Madras Institute of Technology.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E Palaniswami on Friday announced ex-gratia of Rs 7 lakh for her family.
The Supreme Court had on 22 August ordered the Tamil Nadu government to begin medical admissions based on NEET. The SC verdict came after the Centre refused to endorse Tamil Nadu’s draft ordinance seeking one-year exemption from NEET.
The Centre, which had on 13 August said that it was willing to exempt Tamil Nadu from NEET for one year, reversed its stand with Attorney General of India KK Venugopal informing officials that the ordinance would not stand legal scrutiny. The Centre’s reversal in stand dashed the hopes of thousands of medical aspirants in the state, who had hoped that medical admissions would be based on the results of the State board examinations.
The apex court had ordered medical admissions to be wrapped up by 4 September.
Speaking on the issue, TN Health Minister Vijayabaskar told Puthiya Thalaimurai, "I am pained by what happened. I want to tell students that they should not lose hope, and that they have three attempts for NEET."
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(With inputs from The News Minute.)