Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin on Thursday announced an all-party meeting on January 8 here to discuss the next course of action on the state’s demand for exemption from NEET, as an Assembly bill in this regard is pending with the Centre.
Contending an all-party delegation MPs under DMK Lok Sabha member T R Baalu couldn’t secure an audience with Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday, the Chief Minister claimed that the Centre had not acted on the Tamil Nadu Assembly Bill seeking exemption for the state from NEET. “In order to discuss the next plan of action, the State Government has convened an all-party meeting on January 8,” Stalin told the state Assembly. Making a statement on the floor of the House under rule 110, he appealed to the leaders of various political parties who have representation in the Assembly to extend their cooperation to the serious issue concerning the State’s students particularly those with rural background.
Recalling the unanimous Assembly bill passed in the House in September against NEET, Stalin said based on the decisions to be taken in the Saturday all-party meeting, “our struggle against NEET and for social justice will continue.” He reiterated NEET was against the interests of the rural students and charged the Centre, through the entrance test had “snatched away” states’ rights to decide on how it will conduct its medical admissions, with the state keen to do so only based on Class XII marks. He said the Bill sent to the Governor earlier had not been forwarded to the President of India and that he had personally taken up the matter with the Governor, following which a Baalu-led delegation had submitted a memorandum against NEET and the “losses” faced by students and the delay in getting the exemption with the President’s office.
The representation concerned was now with the Union Home Ministry, he added. Tamil Nadu has been seeking exemption from the National Entrance-cum-Eligibility Test and the issue has emotive undertones in the state with a few medical aspirants dying allegedly by suicide, following low marks or apprehensions of not clearing it.