CHENNAI: HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar has ruled out the possibility of exempting Tamil Nadu from the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (Neet) and said the test would be conducted in accordance with the guidelines issued by the Supreme Court.
“At present, all states have accepted Neet. We cannot exempt just one state from the exam,” the Union minister said on Thursday.
“Neet is the decision of the Supreme Court. We as HRD are only national testing agency organizing the examination. But the exam papers are set by the health ministry and the Indian Medical Council,” he clarified.
The minister said all seats in many private colleges are for ‘sale’ and the private colleges took money and then declare the students as passed in the entrance exam and gave admissions. “Now admissions are being made on merit. Therefore students can take admission in government and private institutions also,” Mr Javadekar told Puthiya Thalaimurai. On the private institutions charging hefty fee, he said, the Centre wanted to ‘curb’ this menace. “The Madurai bench of the Madras high court has already given the decision and we appointed a committee. But it was stayed by the Supreme Court and therefore the matter lies there.
But we will definitely reduce the fees for students,” he assured.
Neet has been an emotive issue in Tamil Nadu and the BJP’s ally in Tamil Nadu - the ruling AIADMK, and the opposition DMK, as well, have assured changes regarding the exam in their respective election manifestos. While the AIADMK took a softer stance saying it would aim to ensure temporary exemption from the exam for the State, the DMK has promised to abolish Neet.
For its part, the Congress promised to scrap the Neet in Tamil Nadu, as it was discriminatory against students; and take measures to substitute it with a state-level examination of equivalent standard, approved by the competent authority for admission to medical colleges in that state.