No NEET breather for Tamil Nadu as Nadda offers special reservation placebo

The Tamil Nadu government and various political parties in the state, including the DMK, are opposed to NEET as a bulk of students appearing in the exam would be from the rural areas.

Published: 15th April 2017 04:26 PM  |   Last Updated: 16th April 2017 06:12 AM   |  A+A-

Union Health Minister JP Nadda (File | PTI)

By PTI

CHENNAI: Dashing the hopes of thousands of medical aspirants in Tamil Nadu who were hoping to get an exemption from the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), Union Health Minister JP Nadda categorically ruled out any such breather.

Instead, he returned the hot potato back to the State, urging it to provide special reservation to students from State board and from rural areas — an almost impossible recommendation as similar attempts in the past were blocked by the courts.

Tamil Nadu Assembly had adopted two bills seeking to exempt students from the State from appearing for NEET, which was sent to the Pr­e­s­ident for his assent. The President’s secretariat sent these bills to the concerned ministries seeking opini­on. Speaking to reporters here, Nadda said his mi­nistry has made it clear th­at the examination proce­ss has to be implemented un­i­formly.

“Tamil Nadu government feels that the students coming from the rural background will (find NEET difficult). I have told them that for those coming from State board or from rural background, they have got full freedom to have their own reservation policy. Give special reservation so that these students are taken in,” he said.

However, experts here pointed out that courts have already struck down such mo­v­es to provide reservation to students from rural ba­ckground. “TN had earlier given 15 per cent reservation in medical and engineering seats for the students from rural backgrounds, which was later increased to 25 per cent. But a section of students challenged this at the Madras HC, which struck it do­­wn.

The decision was upheld by the Su­preme Court, too,” said Dr GR Ra­v­indranath, general secretary of Do­c­t­ors Association for Social Equality.

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