Ariyalur Dalit girl represents Tamil Nadu’s NEET angst at Supreme Court

The dalit girl has scored top marks in the State Board Class 12 examination, but could not match it in the national test which is based on CBSE syllabus.

Published: 18th August 2017 01:25 AM  |   Last Updated: 01st September 2017 07:46 PM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

ARIYALUR: When leading advocate Nalini Chidambaram moved the Supreme Court seeking admissions to medical courses only on the basis of NEET score, it was not the State government or the equitable education activists who captured attention from the rival side.

It was a young Dalit girl from a poor family in the backward Ariyalur who recorded spectacular performance in the State Board Class 12 examination, but could not match it in the national test which was based on the CBSE syllabus.

Read: Dalit girl in Tamil Nadu who argued against NEET in Supreme Court kills self

On Thursday, S Anitha, daughter of a casual labourer, impleaded herself as one of the respondents against the plea in Supreme Court by students who cleared the contentious national test.

Anitha scored 1,176 out of 1,200 marks in Class XII. She scored high cut-off marks of 199.75 for engineering and 196.75 for medicine, and was offered a seat in aeronautical engineering at the Madras Institute of Technology. She was also selected for Bachelor of Veterinary Science in Veterinary College at Orathanadu.

“But I want to be a doctor,” the teenager told Express. However, in the national test, based on a syllabus she is unfamiliar with, the Dalit girl from Senthurai scored only 86 per cent. Hence, if admissions are to be done only under NEET, even a candidate as deserving as her will be out of reckoning for medical seats, prompting her to implead herself in the case in SC.

Read: Anitha had a dream, a poor Dalit village girl who would become a doctor — but it died with her 

When the SC agreed to hear the plea by pro-NEET students represented by Nalini Chidambaram, an affidavit was filed in Anitha’s name, signed by her father T Shanmugham, a casual labourer at the Gandhi Market in Tiruchy, as she is still a minor.

PB Prince Gajendra Babu, general secretary of the State Platform for Common School System, and S Arumai Nathan, president of TN Parent Teachers Association, also filed separate affidavits. “Nalini Chidambaram’s argument is that the TN government is not favouring rural students. She wants the counselling to be based on NEET.

Our argument is based on the 1952 amendment to Article 15 (4) which states nothing shall prevent State from making any special provision for the advancement of socially and educationally backward classes or for SC/ST community,” Gajendra Babu told Express.

SC pauses TN medical admission

SC has barred admissions to MBBS, BDS courses in TN till August 22 in wake of the ordinance passed by the government to exempt the State.

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