A 46-year-old man from Tamil Nadu, who had accompanied his son to Kerala for the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET), died following a cardiac arrest Sunday, while his son wrote the test. The incident comes at a time when the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), which conducts the nationwide medical entrance test, is facing criticism in Tamil Nadu for not allotting aspirants exam centres in the state.
S Krishnasamy, a resident of Thiruthuraipoondi in Tamil Nadu, had to travel over 500 kilometres to reach Ernakulam on Saturday, where his son Kasthoori Mahalingham K was allotted a centre to appear for NEET-2018 the next day.
“They travelled in a general compartment of a train for several hours to reach Ernakulam for the exam. On Sunday morning, Krishnasamy requested owner of the hotel (where the father-son duo were staying) in Ernakulam…to drop his son to the exam centre as he was feeling unwell. After his son left for the exam, Krishnasamy had to be taken to the hospital, where he later died,” Krishnasamy’s friend told The Indian Express.
According to sources, Krishnasamy suffered a cardiac arrest and succumbed soon after after his son left for the test centre. Kasthoori was informed about tragedy only after he finished writing the test.
According to a statement issued by the CBSE, at least 3,685 medical aspirants from Tamil Nadu had to travel out of state to take the exam. The Board and concerned NEET authorities so far have not commented why it failed to create enough exam centres in the state.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami announced a solatium of Rs 3 lakh for the bereaved family.
A government statement, issued by Palaniswami’s office on Sunday, said the CM has asked chief secretary Girija Vaidyanathan to get in touch with her counterpart in Kerala and direct the Ernakulam district collector to make all necessary arrangements to bring Krishnaswamy’s body back to his native village. A team of officials from Tamil Nadu has also been rushed to Ernakulam.
Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan has also directed the Ernakulam district administration to make necessary arrangements to comfort the student. He also ordered a team to accompany the body until it is handed over to the Tamil Nadu government officials.
Criticising the CBSE for allotting NEET exam centres for Tamil Nadu students in the neighbouring state, MDMK leader Vaiko said: “Tamil Nadu students have become like refugees in their own country…If you (CBSE) are creating such troubles, how do you expect your students to write that exam properly.” He said students who wrote the test in Tamil Nadu too faced harassment in the name of frisking and checking.
On Saturday, Palaniswami had announced that every student from Tamil Nadu who had travelled to other states to appear for the NEET will be given train fare in addition to monetary assistance of Rs 1,000 per candidate.