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Tamil Nadu govt to pass another bill against NEET days after Governor refuses assent

By Priyanka Verma 
Updated Date

Chennai: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin on Saturday said that the state would convene a special assembly to pass another bill for exemption of NEET, days after Governor RN Ravi returned a similar bill, calling it “anti-poor”. The CM’s announcement came after an all-party meeting on the issue, where he alleged that the Governor did not perform his duty by procrastinating on the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test exemption bill.

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The Governor, the Chief Minister said at an all-party meeting, kept the Bill with him for 143 days before finally returning it.

In the state assembly resolution, responses to the Governor’s comments for returning the bill will be added.

“It is the demand of eight crore people to give exemption from NEET exam, passed unanimously in the state Assembly. I ask you all – representatives of political parties – to give your valuable feedback in today’s all-party meeting,” the Chief Minister had said this morning at the meeting that the AIADMK and the BJP gave a miss.

Shortly after, the 68-year-old DMK chief said, “I met the Governor over the issue. A resolution for exemption was passed at the (all-party) meeting. I made the appeal also to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a virtual meeting when he opened 11 new medical colleges. Now Governor, after keeping our Bill on his desk for 143 days, sent it back.”

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The Governor expressed his reservation against the bill, saying it will affect the interests of poor and rural students. He had also cited the Supreme Court’s verdict in the CMC Vellore case.

“The CMC Vellore verdict governor cites is different from the legislative powers of the state legislature,” Chief Minister MK Stalin said today.

The BJP boycotted the all-party meeting held earlier in the day. The saffron party’s ally AIADMK also did not participate. However, AIADMK has released a statement saying that it is against the NEET and will support the Tamil Nadu government on the exemption of the exam in the state.

A special session will be held to clear the bill and Speaker M Appavu will announce the date.

Last year, after taking charge, the Chief Minister had passed the exemption bill in September. The NEET, he said, favours affluent classes who can afford private coaching.

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In his Republic Day message, however, the Governor took a stand against the Bill: “Before the introduction of the NEET, the share of students from government schools to the seats in government medical colleges was hardly 1 per cent. Thanks to the affirmative action of 7.5 per cent reservation for government school students, that number has improved significantly.”

Tamil Nadu Governor RN Ravi on Thursday returned the MK Stalin-led DMK government’s NEET exemption bill, stating that it goes against the interests of rural students.

A Raj Bhavan release said: “The governor, after a detailed study of the L.A.Bill No.43 of 2021 for admission to Undergraduate Medical Courses seeking exemption from NEET, and the Report of the High-Level Committee constituted by the State Government in this regard, is of the opinion that the Bill is against interests of the students especially the rural and economically poor students of the State.”

“Hence, the Hon’ble Governor has returned the Bill to the Hon’ble Speaker, Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly on February 01, 2022, giving detailed reasons, for its re-consideration by the House, ” it added.

The state assembly had in September last year passed a bill to scrap NEET.

The move came after a 19-year-old medical aspirant was found dead at his home in Salem hours before the NEET exam in 2021.

The bill seeks to provide for admission to UG courses in medicine, dentistry, Indian medicine and homoeopathy on the basis of marks obtained in the qualifying examination, (class 12) for the next 10 years.

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