The Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit has approved to the unanimously passed bill on 7.5 per cent quota in admission to medical colleges for state’s government school students who qualify in the National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test (NEET). The approval comes a day after the ruling AIADMK-led state government issued an executive order that bypassed the Governor to implement the bill’s provisions ahead of the admission process, set to start soon.
The executive order was seen as a showdown between the AIADMK-led state government and the Governor – an appointee of the BJP-led central government. The two parties are allies in Tamil Nadu.
Though the Tamil Nadu assembly had passed the bill in September, the governor’s last week’s reply to Leader of Opposition MK Stalin state he would require three to four weeks to decide on the bill. After approving the bill, Purohit issued a statement explaining he had received a favourable opinion from the Solicitor General that the bill “is in consonance with the constitution”.
The newly enacted law will help around 300 NEET-qualified government school students, mostly from the marginalised and under-privileged families to secure admission in medical colleges, private and state-run, from this academic year itself.
The AIADMK-led state government had failed to get exemption from NEET. The state government had abolished medical entrance test in Tamil Nadu for nearly a decade and allowed admission to its medical colleges purely on the basis of class 12 marks.
Successive state governments have argued that poor students from government school and rural areas cannot afford private coaching, and thus NEET scuttles their dreams of becoming doctors. At least 13 medical aspirants had died by suicide, including a few who had scored well in class 12, for not being able to qualify in the NEET. Reacting to the development, senior AIADMK Minister D Jayakumar said, “Social justice must be protected at all times”.
Source: NDTVNews, States