CHENNAI: Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Wednesday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to instruct the Union Health Ministry to withdraw the review petition on common entrance examination for medical admissions, filed by the previous UPA regime, which was coming up for hearing on March 15.
Rural students and students from poorer socio-economic backgrounds are “unable to compete with urban elite students in such Common Entrance Examinations, which are designed to favour the urban elite. The rural students would be put to great disadvantage because they lack the resources to enrol in training institutions and access materials available to urban students,” said Jayalalithaa in her letter to Modi, reiterating her objection to such exams.
Already 15 per cent of MBBS seats and half of post graduate seats in State-run medical and dental colleges are surrendered to the central pool for which admissions are based on the common entrance examination.
In the case of admission to PG courses, the State government gives preference to those who have served in rural areas, giving special weightage to those working in hilly and tribal areas.
It also has a system of bond for those completing PG education from government medical colleges to serve the State for a minimum period, which has helped Tamil Nadu meet the demand for specialists in the government sector.
“The introduction of National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) or any Common Entrance Examination would nullify the implementation of these policy initiatives and socio-economic objectives of the State, since we would have to fall in line with the regulations of the national test, which will not have such enabling provisions,” she pointed out.
The Supreme Court had quashed the notification by the Medical Council of India and the Dental Council of India on NEET in 2013, Jaya recalled, requesting the Centre not to pursue any legislative measures to circumvent the SC order that upheld Tamil Nadu’s stand on this issue.