File photo of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa.
File photo of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa.
Campus Notes

Jayalalithaa urges PM to drop move to reintroduce NEET

NetIndian News Network

Chennai, July 29, 2013

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa today wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, urging him to immediately drop the reported move by the Union Health & Family Welfare Ministry to file a review petition before the Supreme Court against its recent verdict quashing the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for undergraduate and post-graduate medical and dental courses.
"The Government of India should accept the decision of the honourable Supreme Court without seeking a review," she said in her letter.
The Supreme Court had, in its verdict of July 18, held that the notification of the Medical Council of India and Dental Council of India introducing a NEET for these courses as ultra vires of the Constitution and quashed it.
Ms Jayalalithaa said this had finally brought to an end a long pending and vexatious issue relating to a policy by which students aspiring for Medical and Dental seats had to go through the agony of an uncertain selection process which militated against their interest and the interests of the State of Tamil Nadu.
"The majority judgment has rightly upheld all the valid objections raised by Tamil Nadu along with the contentions of the other petitioners," she said.
Ms Jayalalithaa wrote that, instead of abiding by the judgement, there was a press statement attributed to Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad indiating that the Goverment might move the apex court for a review of the verdict.
"This has again created confusion and frustration in the minds of thousands of students of Tamil Nadu who have already been covered by a fair and transparent admission policy laid down by the Government of Tamil Nadu which has been working well. Tamil Nadu strongly objects to any such fresh purported attempts by the Government of India to seek a review of the judgment of the Supreme Court and efforts for reintroduction of NEET in any manner as it infringes upon the State’s rights and admission policies to medical institutions in Tamil Nadu," she said.
The Chief Minister recalled that she had written to Dr Singh twice on this issue, expressing Tamil Nadu's objection to the introduction of NEET.
She said the Government of Tamil Nadu had taken several steps, starting from 2005, which culminated in the abolition of the Common Entrance Examination for professional undergraduate courses in the state.
"The Common Entrance Examination would have put the rural students to great disadvantage because they lack the resources to enroll in training institutions and access materials available to urban students. Consequently, a large number of socially and economically backward meritorious rural students have benefited by the decision to abolish the Common Entrance Test in the state," she said.
"Most importantly, Tamil Nadu has followed the policy of upholding social justice by following 69% reservation for Backward and Most Backward Communities and Scheduled Castes and Tribes in professional courses. You may be aware that, on my instructions, the Government of Tamil Nadu had enacted the Tamil Nadu Backward Classes, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Reservation of seats in Educational Institutions and of appointments or posts in the Services under the State) Act, 1993 (Tamil Nadu Act 45 of 1994) providing 69% reservation in education and employment for the depressed sections of Society and got it included in the Ninth Schedule of the Constitution.
"The introduction of a Common Entrance Test such as NEET would have created confusion and a plethora of litigations and confounded the smooth implementation of this reservation policy both in undergraduate and postgraduate medical and dental admissions in Tamil Nadu.
"For the Post Graduate courses, the Government of Tamil Nadu gives preference to those who have served in rural areas, giving special weightage to those working in hilly and tribal areas. The Government has also successfully obtained and enforced bonds from those completing post-graduate education in Government Medical Colleges to serve the State
Government for a minimum period, which has helped us to meet the need for specialist medical manpower in Government Hospitals.
"The introduction of NEET would confound 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 did not have such enabling provisions. The national test would be out of tune with the prevailing socio-economic milieu and administrative requirements of Tamil Nadu," she added.

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