Abolish NEET or clear Tamil Nadu Bill to exempt state from exam: DMK's demand in RS

DMK Rajya Sabha member P Wilson on Tuesday urged the central government to either abolish medical entrance exam NEET or approve Tamil Nadu's NEET exemption Bill to exclude the state from the competitive exam.
DMK on NEET exam
DMK on NEET exam

New Delhi | DMK Rajya Sabha member P Wilson on Tuesday urged the central government to either abolish medical entrance exam NEET or approve Tamil Nadu's NEET exemption Bill to exclude the state from the competitive exam.

His appeal in the Upper House of Parliament came amid a row over alleged irregularities in the conduct of the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) for admissions to medical courses.

During the debate on the Motion of Thanks to the President's address in the Rajya Sabha, he said the state legislative assembly had passed the Tamil Nadu Admission to Medical Courses Bill in 2021 and subsequently passed a resolution unanimously against the exam and to address the "NEET menace".

However, the Bill has been pending the "Centre's assent for nearly three years", causing "anxiety" among students and parents, he said.

"We seek the PM's immediate attention to either approve the Bill passed by the state government or bring out amendments to the National Medical Commission Act to abolish the NEET and next exam system at the national level," Wilson stated.

The NEET-UG 2024 exam was taken by around 23.33 lakh students and the alleged irregularities in its conduct, including question paper leak, has led to filing of cases in courts, including the Supreme Court, and an inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

The probe agency on June 23 filed an FIR in connection with the alleged irregularities in the exam held on May 5 on a reference from the Union education ministry.

The DMK leader also criticised the delay in ordering of the CBI probe, claiming this might have allowed "fraudsters" to tamper with documents and erase evidence.

Wilson also raised concerns about the handling of competitive exams, including the NEET, by the National Testing Agency (NTA).

The agency that handles crucial national-level tests is registered under the Societies Registration Act "like any other flat owner or housing society", the DMK leader said.

"From 2014 to 2024, the government has passed 427 Bills in the Lok Sabha and 365 bills in the Rajya Sabha. However, the Union government was not interested in introducing a legislation to provide statutory backing to the NTA," Wilson said and claimed that this lack of a legislation could potentially "shield the agency from accountability".

The DMK has long opposed NEET, having secured a stay from the Madras High Court on its implementation when it was first introduced in 2010 through regulations.

In a letter addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi regarding exemption of NEET for the state, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and DMK supremo M K Stalin on Friday said that "... we had passed a Bill unanimously in our legislative assembly to exempt Tamil Nadu from NEET and to provide medical admissions based on 12th standard marks."

"This has been sent for Presidential assent but the assent is still pending," he had said and added that the irregularities during the recent NEET exam validated the state's opposition to the exam.

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