The Tamil Nadu Government has tabled a bill in Legislative Assembly to exclude the state within the purview of uniform medical entrance examination - National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET).
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The bill proposed in Tamil Nadu assembly on January 31, 2017, prescribes that majority of students who would appear for entrance examination do not have funds to enroll in coaching classes to equip themselves for the national level test. “The bulk of students come from rural areas and facilities for them to access coaching classes are not available due to paucity of funds and economic conditions in which those students live,” reads the bill. “The government has taken a policy decision to continue present procedure of admission to MBBS and BDS courses on the basis of marks obtained in higher secondary examination,” reads the bill undersigned by Dr. C. Vijayabhaskar, The Health Minister of Tamil Nadu.
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The bill further states that the all India level examination has become a traumatic experience for both students and parents as it appears to determine the future of students at one stroke. “The higher secondary examination is itself a burden and is very much an entrance test to get admission in professional courses, thus, the separate examination will be an additional burden on students,” reads the bill.
Last year, after a Supreme Court’s directive, NEET had replaced AIPMT as well as state and institutional level entrance examinations for admissions to MBBS and BDS programmes. Many States protested against the NEET decision calling it an “unfair move for students from state boards’ and Tamil Nadu was one of them. Hence, an ordinance was passed and States were given a choice to either conduct their own entrance examination or accept NEET scores for admissions to 85% of State quota seats, for 2016. Tamil Nadu continued with their previous year’s selection process of accepting 10+2 scores for admissions to medical and dental programmes.
The bill suggests that syllabus for the national level entrance test NEET is based on CBSE pattern and it will be a disadvantage for candidates appearing form the state board in NEET. ‘’The syllabus, methodology and content of NEET is based on syllabus prescribed for higher secondary course of CBSE which is different from the syllabus prescribed by the board of higher secondary examination, Tamil Nadu,” states the bill.
Considering the fact that medical education falls under the concurrent list, the state government is entitled to bring state specific amendment to the Indian Medical Council Bill 2016 and The Dentists Bill 2016 in order to exempt students of Tamil Nadu to appear in NEET.
If the bill gets passed in Tamil Nadu Assembly, it will need the consent of Tamil Nadu Governor and Presidential assent to come into force.
CBSE is expected to announce NEET anytime now. Last year, the all India entrance exam for admission to MBBS/BDS was announced on December 1, 2015. The NEET application form was made available from December 15, 2015.
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