Opposition to MBBS entrance NEET continues in Tamil Nadu; plea filed in Supreme Court
The plea against the test was filed in the Apex Court two days before the last date (6th Jan 2020) to apply for NEET this year.
The confirmation to this effect was announced by State Health Minister C Vijayabaskar who asserted that government continued to be firm in its policy of opposition to NEET.
On 27 December 2010, the notification for the test was issued by the Union government. Only after that, the national test took shape and the opposition to it approached the Madras High Court and later the issue went as far as the Supreme Court.
NEET, which was further declared illegal and unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 2013, was restored in April 2016, by a five-judge constitution bench that allowed the Centre and the Medical Council of India (MCI) to implement the common entrance test. In 2016, following requests from states like Tamil Nadu, government colleges were granted exemption from NEET for a year. This ended in 2017. However, the opposition against the exam continued.
The Tamil Nadu Assembly had passed two Bills with the support of all parties in 2017 for the state to be exempted from the test.
However, the matter rose up when in November last year; the Madras High Court made a stern statement on the exam and stated "Why can't the centre cancel NEET". The bench asserted that NEET discriminates against the poor and instead of giving the expected good results, has benefited only students who spend lakhs of rupees on coaching classes and put rural students at a disadvantage. NEET impersonation scam which had jolted the state at that time was also considered while making the judgment.
During the course of hearing, the counsel for the government, complying with the court's October 25 directive, submitted a list of candidates who got admission after attending coaching classes and those without doing so.
Noticing the data, the HC had said that it was shocking that only a negligible number of candidates got admission without coaching and the medical education is not available for the poor which also puts the rural students at disadvantage.
Read Also: Calling it anti-poor, Madras HC calls for scrapping of NEET for MBBS admissions
Further, the Lok Sabha members sought details on whether the Government has received any requests from the States/UTs seeking exemption from NEET and if it proposes to scrap NEET or give exemption to Tamil Nadu in the interest of the poor and rural students; to which the Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan replied the proposals received in respect with the same were in direct contravention of Section 10D of the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 and thus, the same was not supported by the Ministry. The provisions of the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 for conducting NEET shall apply across the country without any exemption.
Read Also: Questions on NEET, exemptions raised once again in Lok Sabha; Dr Harsh Vardhan Responds
Now, seeking cancellation of NEET, the Tamil Nadu government has once again moved the apex court.
"Now a petition has been filed in the Supreme Court challenging Section 10 (d) of the Indian Medical Council Act. The main petition in the matter was still pending in the top court. The NEET was behind conducted under section 10 (d) and this section was inserted through an amendment to the IMC Act," the Health Minister Vijayabhaskar informed PTI.
Tamil Nadu filed the fresh plea after the top court said during the case hearing last month that the State had the freedom to challenge this provision, the Minister pointed out.
However, raising the issue during zero hour, Stalin said that the State government had betrayed the rural students of Tamil Nadu by moving the court at the last moment that too when only two days were left for applying for NEET, reports TNIE
Garima joined Medical Dialogues in the year 2017 and is currently working as a Senior Editor. She looks after all the Healthcare news pertaining to Medico-legal cases, MCI/DCI decisions, Medical Education issues, government policies as well as all the news and updates concerning Medical and Dental Colleges in India. She is a graduate from Delhi University. She can be contacted at email@example.com Contact no. 011-43720751 To know about our editorial team click here