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Why Does Tamil Nadu Want Permanent NEET Exemption for its Medical Aspirants?

How does the NEET exam impact Tamil Nadu's medical aspirants?

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2 min read

Five months after coming to power, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin fulfilled one of DMK’s crucial election promises and passed a bill to do away with the common entrance exam for the state's medical aspirants.

The Tamil Nadu Admission to Undergraduate Medical Degree Courses Bill which was passed on 13 September, seeks to exempt medical admissions to undergraduate courses in medicine, dentistry and homeopathy based on the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test or the NEET exam.

Since this common entrance test was made mandatory in 2017, we have read several reports of student suicides across Tamil Nadu.

In fact, the day before that the state adopted the bill, a 19-year-old NEET aspirant Dhanush was found dead in Salem hours before he was supposed to sit for his third NEET attempt. As per reports, it is suspected that he took his own life fearing that he may not be able to clear the entrance test for admissions yet again.

Another student was found dead on 14 September at her home in Thuvarankurichi, two days after writing the NEET exam. According to reports, her parents said that she was unhappy with how the exam went.

While such cases of student suicides have been triggering an outcry over the entrance exam in the state, the passage of the bill means that now all medical admissions in the state will be based on Class 12 marks instead of a common entrance exam.

But there's still one last hurdle to cross.

This Bill is effectively challenging a central legislation, so it can't just come into effect without the President's assent. But will the DMK be successful in persuading its case? Why does the state government want a permanent exemption from NEET? How does it impact Tamil Nadu's medical aspirants?

To understand the protests around NEET, in this episode, we will be speaking to two educationists — Dr KR Malathi and Prince Gajendra Babu. Tune in!

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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