The state of Tamil Nadu has always stood against the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (Undergraduate). The protest against NEET has escalated this year due to the added factor of the pandemic. The Tamil Nadu government has constituted a high-level committee to study the impact of the NEET 2021 on the medical examination. As per advertisements circulated through major dailies, the public was asked to submit their opinion on NEET 2021 by post to the Committee or through the email ID [email protected] by June 23, 2021.
The committee has received around 50,000 representations. Justice AK Rajan who heads the committee has been reported to quote that “We got mixed feedback on NEET. Although more people want it scrapped, there are many who want the test to be held. Some have suggested reintroducing it after a few years and some others have suggested scrapping it after a few years.”
Tamil Nadu Government wants the seats in Medical College if the state to be filled based on class 12 marks and not NEET marks. But why Tamil Nadu is against NEET 2021. Here are the 5 reasons why many in Tamil Nadu want NEET to be scrapped not just for this year, but forever:
1. Not safe to conduct NEET amidst the pandemic: Many influential party leaders have asked the center to not hold to NEET 2021 in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. CM of the state, M. K. Stalin has also come up with requests to cancel NEET 2021. He has written a letter to the PM stating reasons for cancelling Class 12 board exams are “equally applicable” to the entrance exams. He also added that Tamil Nadu should be allowed to admit students to MBBS courses on the basis of Class 12 results.
2. NEET syllabus is based towards CBSE and is not uniform for Tamil Nadu state board: TN students have always claimed that the syllabus of the 10+2 schools and government-oriented schools in the state are not at par with NEET and whatever expectation the exam has from the medical aspirants. TN students feel that NEET is biased towards the CBSE curriculum. Students feel that NEET does not have application-based questions but it has questions that just require mug-up learning.
3. The TN state board does not prepare the students for NEET: It has been reported that more than 70% of schools in Tamil Nadu are under the state board. Many past NEET aspirants have claimed that NEET has questions that are not taught in TN school board but are taught in CBSE board.
4. Medical coaching is expensive and inaccessible for many: The Tamil Nadu government has claimed that NEET-based admissions are against social justice as poor & rural students do not get through the entrance test. In metropolitan cities of Tamil Nadu like Chennai and Coimbatore, students go for NEET coaching since class 9. But people in the rural areas cannot afford that. The lower-income groups cannot afford 2.5 lakhs per year on medical coaching. This puts a question mark on the equal treatment of NEET for all the aspirants. Separate coaching for NEET becomes mandatory it is modeled on the NCERT – CBSE curriculum.
5. Losing out the seats to the students of other states: Losing out medical college seats to students from other states has been one of the biggest concerns for the state. Due to all of the above reasons seats in Tamil Nadu state under the AIQ 15% quota is filled mostly by the students of other states. The Tamil Nadu candidates cannot even fairly get a chance to take admission in medical colleges in their own states. TN currently has around 6,500 seats, surrenders 15% of seats to the central pool.
Both parties of Tamil Nadu state i.e, AIADMK and DMK stand against NEET 2021. Tamil Nadu has been in strong opposition to the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test or NEET since it was recommended in 2013 and implemented in 2016. One of the grounds for their opposition is that such tests went against social justice and denied opportunities to students from socially disadvantaged groups and aspirants from rural regions. After Supreme Court’s intervention, NEET was made the only entrance examination for all medical and dental courses in the country, including government and private colleges in 2017. The ambit of NEET was further extended in 2020 to also include admission to AIIMS and JIPMER MBBS programs in the country.
Till now there is no official announcement from NTA for NEET 2021 application form release date. The last notice of NEET 2021 date March 12, 2021, states that NEET 2021 will be held on 01 August 2021. Any notice has yet not been released by the conducting body of NEET since then.