The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister has been reaching out to non-BJP chief ministers to mobilise support for the demand after three NEET aspirants from his state died by suicide last month.

Chief Ministers KCR, MK Stalin, Jagan
news Education Wednesday, October 13, 2021 - 18:51

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin has sought the support of his Telangana and Andhra Pradesh counterparts K Chandrasekhar Rao and YS Jagan Mohan Reddy for the demand to abolish NEET, the national exam for admission to medical courses. Stalin is reaching out to non-BJP chief ministers over the demand to the Union government to abolish National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET). Two MPs of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) on Wednesday, October 13 called on Telangana minister and Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) working president KT Rama Rao and handed over to him the letter written by Stalin to K Chandrasekhar Rao. Meanwhile, DMK's deputy leader in Parliament Kanimozhi also met Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday, to seek his support in the same matter. 

MPs TKS Elangovan and Kalanidhi Veeraswamy met KTR, who is also the son of the CM KCR, and urged him to back DMK's stand over the issue. The DMK MPs said that keeping in view the future of students, they were demanding the abolition of NEET. They claimed that the TRS leader responded positively to their request for support over the issue.  Earlier on Monday, October 11, the same DMK MPs also met Andhra Pradesh CM Jagan seeking support for their call to abolish NEET. 

Elangovan said the NEET exam was affecting the students of the states. "We built infrastructure for medical colleges and pay salaries to professors but NEET deprives our students from getting admissions in the same colleges," he said. Stating that this is against the federal setup, the MP demanded that education should be brought back to the state list instead of the concurrent list. 

Read: For true federalism, each state must have its own education policy

"We are talking to chief ministers of all opposition parties in the country in this regard. The attempts by the Centre to take away rights of the states need to be stopped and we have to raise our voice strongly," he said. TRS MP Ranjith Reddy said the DMK MPs discussed the issue in detail with KTR.

Stalin demanded the abolition of NEET after three NEET aspirants from Tamil Nadu died by suicide last month. He is reaching out to non-BJP chief ministers to mobilize support for the demand. Kanimozhi was in Odisha as part of this outreach attempt. Kanimozhi handed over Stalin’s letter to Naveen Patnaik and explained to him the problems faced by students from rural areas and poor households in clearing NEET, a statement issued by the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister's Office (CMO) said.

Several candidates appearing for NEET have ended their lives in Tamil Nadu over the years after failing to clear the nationwide entrance examination, prompting the state assembly to pass a bill to dispense with NEET and allow admission on the basis of class 12 marks to ensure social justice.

Also read: NEET, systemic discrimination and mental health: Tales of disadvantaged students

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