MK Stalin calls NEET 'killer exam', Tamil Nadu Assembly again adopts anti-NEET Bill

Tamil Nadu CM Stalin targeted the governor on the return of the NEET Bill and said it raised questions over Centre-state relations.

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Tamil Nadu Chief minister MK StalinTamil Nadu Chief minister MK Stalin

Press Trust of India | February 8, 2022 | 05:56 PM IST

Chennai: The Tamil Nadu Assembly on Tuesday adopted again, the anti-NEET Bill, returned days ago to the government by Governor RN Ravi and the ruling DMK and principal opposition AIADMK reaffirmed their opposition to the test based on the Dravidian ideology. Chief Minister MK Stalin labelled NEET a killer exam and said he believed that the Governor would forward without any delay the Bill re-adopted, now to the President for his assent.

"It is the Constitutional duty of the Governor to forward it to the President. I think and expect the Governor to do that duty hereafter at least," he said. The Bill was passed followed discussions that stretched to 3 hours and the test was yet again dismissed by Stalin as one that went against the principles of the Constitution including social justice and equality.

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As per the Constitution, the action of Ravi in sending back the Bill to the Assembly was not a correct decision, the government said. The CM targeted the governor on the return of the Bill and said it raised questions over Centre-state relations. He wondered if the action of the governor in sending back the Bill that was enacted based on a policy decision and which was passed by a duly elected government, did not go against the principle of democracy.

He said the governor was only an appointee, apparently pointing to the supremacy of a duly elected government. If this was the case, "believing whom would the people vote, based on what belief would people vote?" he asked.

Citing the recommendations of the Sarkaria Commission on Centre-state relations, he said the governor should forward a Bill, if it contradicted a law passed by Parliament, to the President immediately for his assent if advised by the state cabinet. The governor must abide by the advice of the council of ministers, he said.

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The TN Admission to Undergraduate Medical Degree Courses Bill was passed on September 13, 2021, by the Assembly. On Tuesday, it was adopted amid thumping of desks and Speaker M Appavu announced that it has been adopted unanimously. The Speaker said the Bill would be sent to Raj Bhavan today to forward it to the Centre to get Presidential assent. Stalin implied DMK’s long standing opposition to the institution of governor by citing a remark made in 1967 by party founder and late Chief Minister, CN Annadurai. "I believe that our governor will not create such a situation." He expressed confidence that Ravi would forward the Bill to the President without any delay.

Stalin apparently slammed the governor for returning the Bill and said by sending it back, the right of Tamil Nadu and the Assembly’s sovereignty have been questioned. It was an attack on the state’s autonomy and the doctrine of cooperative federalism has been turned topsy-turvy and that is a matter of grief and concern, he said.

Tamil Nadu adopts anti-NEET Bill

Earlier, the BJP led by its floor leader Nainar Nagenthiran staged a walkout raising its objection to the move. The resolution for the passage of the Bill was piloted by Stalin. The Chief Minister, referring to the communique of the governor on the return of the Bill on February 1, said the reasons adduced by him were not correct.

Ravi, citing the Justice AK Rajan panel recommendations on NEET, said they were based on "guess," but it was data-driven and based on the opinions furnished by nearly one lakh people, Stalin said. Reiterating his government's stand against the qualifying test, the CM said "NEET is not an education system but only a system to coach medical aspirants."

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The test favoured private coaching institutions which collected lakhs from students. "We are seeking exemption from NEET for the sake of students who could not spend so much money to get coached," Stalin said. NEET obstructed the education right of poor and ordinary students. He pointed to the national test-related irregularities and arrests which also includes impersonation and a CBI case. NEET, which witnessed bungling, was brought to sideline poor and ordinary students in the name of qualification.

"That is why we are opposing it and seeking exemption. Rather than a test, it is a killer of students. It is not a test but an altar," he said and referred to aspirants including Ariyalur Anitha who had died by suicide after failing to crack the test. NEET sent some students to grave and others to jail, he said and wondered if such a test was needed. Stalin said the Assembly had laid foundation for social justice a century ago and referred to the Justice Party capturing power in 1920. "Some think that only social justice is a gift of the Dravidian movement. But state autonomy is also the movement’s gift." NEET went against social justice and equality enshrined in the Constitution, he added.

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