Written by Sairaya Chopra, a grade 12 student.
Tamil Nadu’s ‘Anti-NEET Bill 2021’ was passed on 13th September 2021 during the State Legislative assembly by Chief Minister MK Stalin.
Why was this bill passed?
A young 19-year-old medical aspirant residing in Salem, Tamil Nadu took his life before taking the NEET exam for the third time. He could not take the crumbling pressure that comes with this exam. This is what triggered the bill.
What exactly is NEET and what significance does this Bill have on students?
The National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET) is an all-India level entrance exam that is required for undergraduate medical courses. The criticism of the test, as the bill states, is that “NEET is not an equitable method of admission”. According to the bill “It has been passed to ensure social justice, upholding quality and equal opportunity to protect all vulnerable students’ community from being discriminated against and bring them to the mainstream education system.” (Source: Times Now News)
Due to the bill being passed, students will now be admitted for undergrad degrees on the basis of their Higher Secondary Certificate or their grade 12 marks, similar to how it worked before NEET exams.
What’s the main argument of the bill?
The bill argues that NEET favours students from bigger cities or more financially stable backgrounds which results in a significant number of students going abroad after an undergraduate course, and these students do not serve in rural areas of India.
Even though all the politccal parties are in favour of the bill, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is against it. Tamil Nadu’s BJP Mahila Morcha President, Vanathi Srinivasan, walked out of the State Legislative assembly after the bill passed. She supports NEET and believes that all students should be following the same syllabus. While countering the bill she stated, “the reservation for medical admissions cannot be against social justice because the number of seats allotted to a particular community is being filled appropriately.”
Despite the disagreement, the bill has been passed. The MP of Chennai North stated “we have lost around 14 students before that. So we don’t feel it’s (NEET) essential at all, because we don’t have a uniform system of education in the country. As long as we don’t have a uniform system of education for all students, it’s unfair to have a single common entrance test.” (Source: HW English).
What do you think about this?