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TN NEET Exemption Bill

Context:

The CM informed the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly that Governor has forwarded the NEET exemption Bill to the Union Home Ministry to be sent to the President of India for his assent.

Relevance:

GS-II: Social Justice and Governance (Issues related to Education, Government Policies and Initiatives), GS-II: Polity and Governance (Centre-State Relations)

Dimensions of the article:

  1. The provisions of Permanent Exemption Bill for NEET in Tamil Nadu
  2. What is NEET and Arguments against NEET
  3. Why is it going for President’s assent?

The provisions of Permanent Exemption Bill for NEET in Tamil Nadu

  • The Permanent Exemption Bill for NEET exempts medical aspirants in Tamil Nadu from taking NEET examination for admission to UG degree courses in Indian medicine, dentistry and homeopathy.
  • Instead, it seeks to provide admission to such courses on the basis of marks obtained in the qualifying examination, through “Normalisation methods”.
  • The aim of the Bill is to ensure “social justice, uphold equality and equal opportunity, protect all vulnerable student communities from being discriminated”, the government said.
  • The Bill seeks to bring vulnerable student communities to the “mainstream of medical and dental education and in turn ensure a robust public health care across the state, particularly the rural areas”.
  • The Bill opposes NEET because it “undermined the diverse societal representation in MBBS and higher medical studies, favouring mainly the affordable and affluent sections of the society and thwarting the dreams of underprivileged social groups”, it said.
  • NEET is not a fair or equitable method of admission since it favoured the rich and elite sections of society, the preamble of the Bill to override NEET said.
  • The preamble added that the high-level committee making a detailed study on NEET concluded that if it continued for a few more years, the health care system of Tamil Nadu would be severely affected and there may not be enough doctors for Primary Health Centres or state-run hospitals and that the rural and urban poor may not be able to pursue medical courses.
  • Admissions to medical courses are traceable to entry 25 of List III, Schedule VII of the Constitution and therefore the state legislature is competent to regulate the same, the Statement of Objects and Reasons (SoOAR) of the Bill.

What is NEET and Arguments against NEET

  • The Indian Medical Council (IMC) Act states that there shall be a uniform entrance examination to all medical educational institutions at UG level and PG level through such designated authority.
  • Union government issued an Ordinance in 2016 postponing the introduction of NEET to 2017  due to the opposition from many quarters.
  • The Tamil Nadu state assembly says the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test is not a fair or equitable method of admission since it favoured the rich and elite sections of society who can afford coaching.
  • Some argue that NEET ‘undermined the diverse societal representation’ in MBBS and higher medical studies, favouring mainly the affluent class.
  • It is argued that the social groups most affected were the students of Tamil medium, having a rural background of government schools, those having a parental income of less than Rs 2.5 lakh per annum.
  • It was also said that if NEET continued, the health care system of the state would be severely affected and there may not be enough doctors for Primary Health Centres or state-run hospitals.

Why is it going for President’s assent?

  • The point is not whether the State government can change a Concurrent List law, but whether it can exempt Section 10D of the IMC Act, which is a parliamentary law that falls within the Central List (Entry 66).
  • In addition, the Supreme Court maintained NEET as a prerequisite.
  • Statistics indicating that the majority of stakeholders in Tamil Nadu oppose NEET are insufficient to justify the exam’s exemption.

-Source: The Hindu

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