With the state showing a marked improvement in the performance of its students in Neet this year, the Central government's submission in the Madras high court that the President had rejected the two Bills unanimously adopted by the Tamil Nadu Assembly in 2017, seeking an exemption from Neet, has triggered a political war of words.
This year of 1,23,078 candidates, who appeared for Neet, 59,785 had cleared it, scoring a qualifying percentage of 48.57 bettering last year's performance of 39.56 per cent. Several students from state board schools scored above 600 this year.
The Centre's submission in the Madras HC was taken up in the Assembly with the Opposition seeking to pass a resolution condemning the Centre. The state government said it would take legal opinion as the issue involved the Supreme Court and Madras high court. The law minister in the Assembly pointed out that the bills have been withheld and not rejected as alleged by Opposition. He even said the dictionary meaning of withheld is stopped and not rejected.
Despite the government saying it had sought reply from the Central government, the DMK walked out of the House. The government also said it was the UPA regime that brought in Neet and senior advocate Nalini, wife of Congress leader P. Chidambaram, had argued in support of entrance exam in the apex court.
While student Anitha's death in 2017 triggered public ire, medical aspirants in the state soon realised that they had to crack Neet and began preparing in right earnest. The coaching classes conducted by the government helped state board students, including those in rural areas, to score well. Such classes helped them to face Neet with confidence. Several private schools also roped in experts and gave special coaching for students.
The state's performance is still lower than the national qualifying percentage of 56.5 per cent, but the improvement in its qualifying rates is a pointer to the growing determination among the student community.
While political parties may continue raking up the Neet issue, students must realize that Neet is here to stay. The exam will help in ensuring uniform standards in medical education and healthcare in the country.
With Tamil Nadu also upgrading its academic standards, Neet success rate in the state is likely to go up in the coming years....