With the anti-NEET Bill pending approval months after being passed, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin on Thursday, January 6, called for an all-party meeting to hold a discussion on how to take the issue forward. The Chief Minister said that Tamil Nadu Governor RN Ravi has not forwarded the Bill, which aims to exempt the state’s students from NEET, to the Union Government or the President for approval. The Assembly had passed the Bill in September 2021 against the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET), and the Bill is pending approval since then.
Speaking in the Tamil Nadu Assembly on Thursday, Chief Minister Stalin also hit out at Amit Shah, stating that the Union Home Minister cancelled multiple appointments set up with the Tamil Nadu MPs who wanted to submit a memorandum to him in the regard.
"Several political parties under DMK MP TR Baalu went to the President's office and petitioned him regarding the NEET issue, and we were told that it was forwarded to the Union Home Ministry for further action. So, the Tamil Nadu MPs asked for an appointment to meet the Home Minister on the issue, but he refuses to meet them. Refusing to meet people's representatives is anti-democratic,” Stalin said in the Assembly.
The Chief Minister, soon after the Question Hour on Thursday, said that any kind of entrance examination affects students from the poor and marginalised sections of the society and so the state government has taken a strong stand that college admission must be based only on school education.
"Tamil Nadu is a forerunner in the health sector with well-trained doctors, who studied in medical colleges with admissions they got based on school education. But Union Government has brought in NEET which affects the students and paves way for those who can afford to undergo costly training to sit for the exam,” he added.
The Union government has snatched away the state's rights on deciding how to admit students in the colleges which have been set up by the states with their own funds, he said. "This has also made a joke out of 12 years of a child’s school education, by making it completely useless,” he said.
CM Stalin also said that this not only shatters the dreams of the students but also disrupted the Indian federalism and added that the Bill passed by the Assembly, which was sent to the Governor, was not forwarded to the President for approval.
“In order to take a decision on taking forward the NEET issue, I request all the parties in the assembly to participate in the all-party meet on January 8 (Saturday),” he said, ending his address saying that based on the decision arrived upon in the said meeting, the fight against NEET shall continue to uphold social justice.
Earlier on Wednesday DMK leader TR Baalu had addressed the media and called for Governor RN Ravi’s resignation, saying he should step down “if he cannot work according to the Constitution.”