Close on the heels of passing two or three resolutions successfully against Central government's legislation, the tenacious MK Stalin led DMK, on the behest of medical college owners, has passed yet another bill to nullify NEET in the State Assembly on 13th September, after the day the countrywide NEET examinations were held successfully. It seems the government is on the warpath with the Modi led NDA government at the Centre.
It is has been said and written several times that the Abrahamic forces have been fully active in the State since the new DMK government came to power in the April Assembly polls. Now it is a heaven for fundamentalists, anti-national forces and the drug mafia. DMK, which has been doing politics over death, particularly students committing suicides fearing failure in NEET exams, made a poll promise of repealing the NEET examinations. Stalin, his son, heir apparent Udhayanidhi Stalin and its top leaders are hoodwinking the people till this date that they have the power to repeal the NEET legislation, knowing quite well that it was impossible. In Bharat, except Tamil Nadu, other states and union territories have fallen in line with enacting laws and subsequent SC orders.
On 12th September, hours before the commencement of NEET examinations, a 19-year-old boy Dhanush, who was preparing to attempt for the 3rd time, allegedly killed himself at his home near Mettur. Opposition parties and BJP have been accusing the government of confusing the students by giving false promises that a permanent exemption for the State from NEET would be made. This was the reason for students' unpreparedness in facing the entrance exam and some, like Dhanush, killing themselves. Another girl student, Kanimozhi Karunanidhi from Ariyalur district, who scored 562 out of 600 in Plus Two examination, committed suicide reportedly out of fear that she was unable to perform well in NEET. Nearly a dozen students allegedly committed killed themselves allegedly over the NEET. CM Stalin said students took the extreme step because they couldn't clear the test even after two attempts. "Union Government's indifference and obstinacy' were driving students to death. Irregularities in the conduct of NEET did not help to change its stand. This further strengthens the case for bringing education to the State list, ", CM MK Stalin stated. Leader of Opposition Edappadi K. Palaniswamy said "There is no clear stand taken by the DMK on NEET and is unnecessarily confusing students and their parents. Because of the rhetoric created by the DMK through the media that NEET would be cancelled, students couldn't prepare adequately for the exam.
On the next day, Tamil Nadu Assembly passed a bill seeking to dispense with the requirement of candidates to qualify in the NEET for admission to UG and PG medical courses in the State. "Tamil Nadu Admission to Undergraduate medical Degree Courses bill, 2021 makes provisions admissions to these courses based on the marks secured in the qualifying examination Plus Two through normalization methods as done before 2017.
On 29th August, the Assembly passed a resolution urging the Union government to repeal the three contentious farm laws. On the 8th of this month, the House unanimously adopted a resolution against the CAA by nudging the Union Government to repeal the law, which is not in tune with the secular principles laid down in the Constitution.
Fulfilling a poll promise made to the people of the State in its first Budget, the Stalin led DMK government announced that it would formulate a separate State Education Policy. "A high-level committee of educationists and experts would be set to formulate a 'distinct' State Education Policy keeping in mind the historical legacy, present situation and future aspirations of the State," said the Finance Minister. The announcement assumes immense significance as the DMK has constantly been opposing the Centre's National Education Policy as it is against the Dravidian principles.
Many questions the cantankerous approach of the Stalin government in opposing the Centre and its legislations. It is adopting a path that is against well-laid constitutional norms. "It is a million-dollar question when there is already a NEP in place. Will Tamil Nadu's proposed State Education Policy not create chaos in academics? Did it not become a bone of contention between the State and the Centre? The same way when NEET was accepted all over the nation, how can a lone TN state get a permanent exemption from NEET exams? It is a contempt of court as it goes against the SC directions," said journalist Praveen.
Journalist K Venkataramanan wrote in 'The Hindu 'that the previous AIADMK regime had passed two bills, one each for undergraduate and postgraduate, but the President withheld the assent. In other words, the Centre rejected the attempt of the State from rigours of NEET…. Modi government appears to be in no mood to grant exemption from NEET to any state. In any case, it has to explain the exemption to the SC, which has taken a rigid position that only NEET can ensure standards in medical education."
TN state BJP Chief K. Annamalai said, "A lot of students from Tamil Nadu are successful in the NEET examinations. The NEET issue has been debated since 2016. TN can't repeal the NEET. It is a SC verdict and accepted by all except Tamil Nadu. If any bill is passed, it would be a contempt of court. It will have no legal sanction. It is not against federal structure or State's autonomy, as alleged in some quarters. I urge the TN government to come out with a white paper on this issue detailing the pass rate of students before and after the NEET regime. I am ready for an open debate on the NEET issue with the DMK." He said that opposition parties should handle the NEET issue with maturity. "I am certain that mafia (private medical colleges) has broken after the NEET came into existence. Certainly NEET is not anti- federal, anti-student, anti-poor as made out by DMK and its allies," he said.