CHENNAI: In a major blow to rural students, the Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the State government to follow the NEET merit list in granting admissions to medical and dental courses for this academic year. The State is now set to begin the counselling, as per the NEET ranklist, on August 24. Last week, Tamil Nadu promulgated an ordinance staying admission process under the common entrance test for one year, stating it put rural students at a disadvantage. The Ordinance was cleared by the Law and HRD ministries in consultation with Attorney General KK Venugopal.
However, on Tuesday, the Centre informed the court that it was not in favour of the State Ordinance. This was indicated on Monday by Venugopal, who said the Ordinance would not stand legal scrutiny. A bench, headed by Justice Dipak Misra, then ordered the State to complete the counselling by Sept 4. Later in the day, the Directorate of Medical Education said it would release the NEET-based merit list on Wednesday and counselling would begin on August 24.
The merit list would be uploaded on www.tnhealth.gov.in and counselling would be held at the Government Super Multi-Speciality Hospital at Omandurar Estate. There are 2,445 MBBS seats in 22 government medical colleges, 127 seats in Rajah Muthiah Medical College and 858 government seats in 11 self-financing colleges, totalling 3,430 seats, said G Selvaraj, selection committee secretary. There are 85 BDS seats in Government Dental College, 68 in Rajah Muthiah Dental College and 1,045 government seats in self-financing colleges, totalling 1,198 seats, he said.
Doctors and educationists unhappy
A section of educationists and doctors expressed disappointment saying, “The SC said admissions shouldn’t affect CBSE & State Board students; but the latter weren’t considered”
Meanwhile, a section of educationists and doctors were dismayed. “SC had earlier said that admissions should be conducted without affecting CBSE and State Board students,” said PB Prince Gajendra Babu, general secretary, State Platform for Common School System.
“It’s an unfair judgment. The Centre which earlier said it was ready to consider a proposal for ordinance, has now said in the court that it was not considering the proposal. Thus, the Centre misguided Tamil Nadu.” Doctors’ Association for Social Equality (DASE) said it will continue to fight.
“The Centre didn’t respect the rights of Tamil Nadu. It denied Presidential consent for two NEET bills passed by the Tamil Nadu Assembly. It made the people wait till the last minute,” said GR Ravindranath, general secretary, DASE. He said the Centre should bring in an amendment to MCI Act to permanently exempt the State from NEET.