NEET is not necessary, said Justice AK Rajan, a retired judge who led a high-level panel on the impact of the medical entrance exam in Tamil Nadu. It was based on Justice Rajanâ€™s report that the Tamil Nadu Assembly passed a bill scrapping NEET and making Class 12 marks the basis for enrolment in Tamil Nadu medical colleges. Even as the Bill is yet to receive the nod from the President, Justice Rajan spoke to TNM on why Tamil Nadu is one of the only states in India that vociferously opposes NEET.
In the detailed interview, Justice Rajan explained that NEET disproportionately affects rural and poor students. â€śUnless you study in coaching classes for two or three years you canâ€™t clear NEET. For that you have to pay money. It goes in lakhs. They canâ€™t afford so much,â€ť he told TNM.
Besides burdening students with another exam, Justice Rajan argued, â€śYou canâ€™t compare a student living in rural Ramnad district or Salem or Krishnagiri district, a person studying in a government school in those areas with a student studying in a city like Chennai, or Madurai or Coimbatore in a posh school. They are not equal. They cannot be treated equally. Equal treatment is provided by Class 12 exams.â€ť The retired judge said rural and poor students donâ€™t have the resources or wherewithal to write a competitive exam like NEET.
Justice Rajan emphasised that in the long run, NEET would affect the health of Tamil Nadu. â€śWho will serve in rural areas? Only people who are from those areas will have the inclination to go and serve that area. If these persons are prevented from entering medical colleges, in another 10 years we wonâ€™t have doctors posted for PHCs and they will be deprived of qualified medical practitioners. Ultimately, it will affect the health of Tamil Nadu,â€ť he said.
Watch the full interview: