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Years of political, legal tussles over NEET before suicide of Dalit girl in TN

The NEET was introduced in the wake of repeated complaints about admission and capitation fees in medical colleges. Last week, the Supreme Court rejected all pleas for exemption of Tamil Nadu from the ambit of NEET and asked for counselling to start.

Written by Abantika Ghosh | New Delhi | Updated: September 2, 2017 7:02 am
neet, neet 2017, neet tamil nadu The NEET was introduced in the wake of repeated complaints about admission and capitation fees in medical colleges.

The teenaged Dalit girl who committed suicide in Ariyalur district on Friday was a petitioner in the Supreme Court against the implementation of the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for admissions to medical courses in Tamil Nadu. The NEET, in fact, has been at the centre of political and legal tussles ever since its inception in 2013 — the year the first common medical entrance test was conducted before it ran into rough weather. Last week, the Supreme Court rejected all pleas for exemption of Tamil Nadu from the ambit of NEET and asked for counselling to start. The longstanding demand for exemption could not be granted despite senior Union ministers batting for the cause or the bonhomie between the BJP and post-merger AIADMK.

The NEET was introduced in the wake of repeated complaints about admission and capitation fees in medical colleges. It was stayed in 2013 after a clutch of petitions from deemed universities, minority institutions and some state governments reached the Supreme Court. The test was finally started in 2016, much to the chagrin of states like Tamil Nadu which argued that the test favoured CBSE students and that students from far-flung areas and weaker sections would lose out. Former chief minister J Jayalalithaa wrote letters to then PM Manmohan Singh and later to his successor Narendra Modi on the matter.

Read | Dalit girl who went to SC to block NEET in Tamil Nadu kills herself

The attorney general initially gave the go-ahead to an ordinance that would exempt Tamil Nadu from NEET when it was referred to him by the law ministry. However, when the ordinance was sent back to him by the health ministry — the only part of the government that had been vehemently against such an exemption on the ground that it would make the very edifice of the medical education reform crumble — two weeks ago, along with additional inputs on court judgments on the subject, the AG revised his judgement and found the ordinance to be not good in law. That was possibly the final nail in the coffin.

Sources said the AG’s first opinion was based on the fact that an exemption ordinance could be brought as per provisions of the Constitution. However, past legal battle in courts meant there was additional jurisprudence that had not been brought to his notice. A health ministry source said, “For us, it is very clear that today if we exempt Tamil Nadu, tomorrow West Bengal will ask for it, the day after, somebody else will ask for it. NEET will vanish into thin air. We could not let that happen after having fought so hard for it.”

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  1. S
    sampath chari
    Sep 2, 2017 at 12:16 pm
    It is a disgrace to the Governments which opposed NEET. When it is National Policy in the interest of the Nation for some flimsy reasons the NEET was opposed by T N and, A P and Telangana. The reason is some variation in the syllabus and that the rural students would suffer. I am happy that the SC, put her foo down and NEET is made compulsory in the interest of merit and quality of curse.
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    1. R
      Rajesh
      Sep 3, 2017 at 6:53 am
      Supreme Court order mandating NEEET was uncons utional in first place. How can supreme Court decree from Delhi what must students in a country of 1.3 billion must study? Then the argument for NEET that it removes money from the medical college admissions. However, result is opposite. It favours rich urban students against the poor.
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    2. T
      TVRR
      Sep 2, 2017 at 11:54 am
      VERY UNFORTUNATE AND SAD INCIDENT , MY DEEP FELT CONDOLENCES TO THE BEREAVED FAMILY MEMBERS AGREE WITH SRI DEERAJ AND SRI RAGHAVAN REGD THEIR VIEWS ON MENTIONING CASTE IN THE ARTICLE. WHY SHOULD THE AUTHOR OF THIS ARTICLE MENTION CAST /CREED / RELIGION OF THE GIRL THIS COULD HAVE HAPPENED TO ANY ASPIRANT FROM ANY CAST/ RELIGION OR CREED
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      1. D
        deeraj
        Sep 2, 2017 at 3:33 am
        What is the need to mention caste here? Instead why don't you mention a poor state board student commits suicide?
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        1. R
          Raghavan
          Sep 2, 2017 at 3:21 am
          Please understand the ground reality before giving headline. Its not about caste, its about the State and central government's decisions and flip flops. Why should the state gov's Education board get second class treatment. If they want to consider inclusive education across Inda then they have to start it from 1st grade and gradually implement it over decades and not over night. Pity so the so called national/english media on their poor understanding on the issue. This is not a cast issue. This is a policy making issue. FYI: Tamil Nadu is the only state where caste has least effect on people. The caste abolition revolution took place half century ago. CBSE history book never teaches that. read and understand from other books. Poor author for headlines. Go to school again.
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          1. R
            Raghavan
            Sep 2, 2017 at 3:16 am
            Please understand the ground reality before giving headline. Its not about caste, its about the State and central government's decisions and flip flops. Why should the state gov's Education board get second class treatment. If they want to consider inclusive education across Inda then they have to start it from 1st grade and gradually implement it over decades and not over night. Pity so the so called national/english media on their poor understanding on the issue. This is not a cast issue. This is a policy making issue. FYI: Tamil Nadu is the only state where caste has least effect on people. The caste abolition revolution took place half century ago. CBSE history book never teaches that. read and understand from other books. Poor author for headlines. Go to school again.
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