A day after President Pranab Mukherjee approved the ordinance on national eligibility cum entrance test (NEET), Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for its "speedy promulgation". But at the same time, she also conveyed to the PM that she was opposed to NEET in Tamil Nadu in the future too.
In a letter to Modi on Wednesday morning, the first after taking over as chief minister, Jayalalithaa said, "I request that necessary measures may be taken to ensure that Tamil Nadu is permitted to continue its existing fair and transparent system of admission to medical colleges and dental colleges in the state and not forced to implement the NEET even in the future."
She thanked the PM for the speedy promulgation of an ordinance providing for exemption from the NEET for this academic year (2016-17) in respect of state Government seats (whether in a Government medical college or in a private medical college) at under graduate level.
Jayalalithaa said that this has for the time being put at rest the mental agony, stress and anxiety of lakhs of students and their parents aspiring for medical admission for the current year in the state quota. "Tamil Nadu's situation is distinct and different from other states. As I have pointed out to you the government of Tamil Nadu has taken a number of steps, starting from 2005, towards systematizing the admission process to medical colleges later abolished entrance examinations for professional undergraduate courses in the state, by enacting the Tamil Nadu Admission in Professional Educational Institutions Act, 2006," she said.
Stating that the introduction of NEET would be a direct infringement on the rights of the state, Jayalalithaa said, "The government has taken the consistent stand that rural students and students from poorer socio-economic backgrounds will be unable to compete with urban elite students in such common entrance examinations, which are designed to favour the urban elite."
The rural students will be put to great disadvantage because they lack the resources to enroll into training institutions and access materials available to urban students.
"The introduction of NEET would nullify the implementation of these policy initiatives and socio-economic objectives of the state, as the regulations for a national test may not have such enabling provisions. The national test is out of tune with the prevailing socio-economic milieu and administrative requirements of Tamil Nadu," she said.