Here are the top 10 points in this big story:
The resolution was passed unanimously; the BJP staged a walkout after discussions began. Passage of the bill was piloted by Chief Minister MK Stalin, who argued NEET was denying students from poor or rural communities the chance to become doctors.
"NEET is an altar for sacrifice... it is like modern-day untouchability and has taken away several lives. There are several instances of irregularities. Before 90 per cent of students from state board schools secured medical admission... this declined after NEET (which) discriminates on the basis of private coaching," he said in a hard-hitting speech.
He also questioned Governor Ravi's rejection, calling it an "attack on the autonomy of the State" and "a shame on federalism". "What happened to the rights of States?" he asked, noting the Governor was bound to forward bills that contradict central government laws.
Earlier Tamil Nadu Health Minister Ma Subramaniam issued a point-by-point rebuttal to the Governor and accused him of 'humiliating' the Assembly. "The Governor's responses were wrong. NEET is easy only for those who can afford private coaching... it is beyond the reach for those from poor, rural or marginalised communities," he said.
Today's Assembly session also witnessed heated arguments between the ruling DMK and the AIADMK, which was defeated in last year's election. Dr C Vijayabaskar, who was the Health Minister in the earlier government, blamed the Congress and highlighted the 7.5 per cent quota created by the AIADMK for students from government schools.
The AIADMK has blamed the ruling DMK for the row. "If the DMK had withdrawn support to then Congress-led UPA in 2010 (when the exam was introduced) there would be no NEET issue at all," ex-Chief Minister and AIADMK leader O Panneerselvam said earlier.
Furious DMK MLAs walked out of the Assembly last week after Governor Ravi returned the bill, saying it went against the interests of rural and poor students. He said enrollment of government school students in state-run colleges had increased after NEET.
A day after he rejected the bill, upset DMK MPs sought to raise the issue during Zero Hour in the Rajya Sabha but Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu refused to give them permission. Undaunted, DMK and Congress MPs insisted and eventually walked out.
Tamil Nadu believes NEET - the mandatory entrance test for admission to medical courses - favours students from richer families and communities, who can afford extensive private coaching opportunities that students from poorer families cannot.
Securing exemption for Tamil Nadu from NEET was an election promise of the DMK.
Post a comment