Why Does Tamil Nadu Want to Scrap NEET? How Will it Impact Medical Admissions?

Tamil Nadu government has introduced a bill seeking exemption for its students from the centralised medical entrance exam – NEET 2021 on Monday. Chief Minister MK Stalin tabled the Bill in the Assembly on Monday.

With the Bill, the government wants that students from their state should be exempted from the centralised exam. They are looking for another entry gateway for medical aspirants. While the state proposes students can also be admitted to medical colleges based on class 12 score and NEET will not be the only gateway to “ensure social justice and protect all vulnerable student communities from being discriminated against admission to medical education programmes”.

The Tamil Nadu govt has proposed to offer a reservation of 7.5% seats in medical colleges for students from government schools.

What’s Next?

The alternative admission route is yet to be finalised. The tabling of the Bill in Assembly formalises the opposition to NEET by the DMK Government. It sets the stage for State-Centre collaborative exchange over how to exempt the state from the controversial medical test.

The Central government was already looking at options of holding NEET multiple times a year. The Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health were in discussions to hold the medical entrance exam twice a year. While this was proposed to be implemented this year, it could not be put into place due to a lack of consensus. As reported by news18.com earlier, the talks on holding the exam more than once a year are still on.

A final call on NEET — which could include an alternative mode or decentralisation of exam or multiple attempts or any other way out — will be announced after discussions between centre and state. Till now, admissions to medical colleges are administered centrally under All India Quota which marks 15% of total seats while rest are filled by states based on NEET scores.

Why Scrap NEET and not JEE?

Many students also question why the state government wants to scrap the NEET while is not against JEE Mains which is a centralised entrance exam for engineering.

The state government claims that the centralised, single-day exam puts pressure on students. Unlike engineering aspirants who have state and central level exams, for medical aspirants there is only one exam – NEET – for admission to both centre and state level colleges.

Social, Economics Impacts of NEET

Tamil Nadu had earlier set up a committee to study the social and economic impacts of NEET. The committee had found that students who get admissions to medical colleges based on NEET perform poorer than those who get admissions based on class 12 scores. The report also suggested that students from affluent families tend to score better in the exam.

The demand for scrapping the exam escalated on social media platforms yesterday when a 19-year-old had allegedly died of suicide fearing failure in medical entrance exams. After the demise of the NEET aspirants, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister said that the “legal battle to scrap NEET will continue”.

Central Govt Offers Quota

To ensure that students from across social and economic backgrounds stand a chance to become doctors, the government has also introduced reservations for EWS and OBC candidates. This is in addition to existing reservations for SC, ST candidates. In addition to 15% reservation offered to SC and 7.5% to ST category students, 27% seats will be reserved for OBC and 10% for EWS category students in medical admissions under All India Quota (AIQ).

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