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Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu Govt To Soon Send Clarifications Sought By Centre Over Anti-NEET Bill

The Health Ministry sought clarifications on the power of the state Assembly to pass the bill.

NEET Aspirants
File photo of aspirants of National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) queued outside an examination centre in Vellore, on Sept. 12, 2021. (PTI File Photo)

New Delhi: The Tamil Nadu government will send clarification requested by the Union Health Ministry and Ministry of Ayush related to the anti-NEET bill passed by the state government. The clarification will be sent to the centre after the approval of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin, said Tamil Nadu Health Minister Ma Subramanian on Wednesday.

Ma Subramanian who was attending the National Plastic Surgery Day event at the Government Stanley Medical College Hospital said that the anti-NEET bill was passed by the state government to exempt students from the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test.

The bill was sent by the Governor for the assent of the President and then the MHA sent the bill to the Union Health Ministry and Ministry of AYUSH. The Health Ministry was seeking clarification from the state.

The Ministry said that NEET is a merit-based exam and it ensures historical reformation like quality education, transparency, national qualification and entrance exam. The ministry wanted to know if the bill was going to impact these. The Ministry also wanted to know if the bill is going to affect national unity and national sovereignty, and if it violates the Constitution Act 14, and also if it is contradictory to the National Education Policy.

The Ministry sought clarifications on the power of the state Assembly to pass the bill. The Ministry also wanted to know whether the bill comes under the jurisdiction of the Union government.

The Law Department will give answers to all the questions and along with that it will explain the steps taken so far for NEET exemption and how this exam is affecting the welfare of the students, Subramanian said. The DMK government has answers for all the questions and will answer them without compromising on the policy, he added.

Earlier, the Union Home Ministry has sought clarifications from the Tamil Nadu government on a bill that seeks to give exemption to the southern state’s students from the ambit of National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), Lok Sabha was informed on Tuesday. The NEET is a common qualifying test for MBBS and BDS courses in medical and dental colleges across India. It is conducted by the National Testing Agency.

However, the Tamil Nadu government wants state’s students to be exempted from the examination. The state has suggested that students can be admitted to medical colleges based on their Class 12 scores.

Union Minister of State for Home Ajay Kumar Mishra said a bill namely ‘The Tamil Nadu Admission to Undergraduate Medical Degree Courses Bill, 2021’, reserved by the governor of Tamil Nadu, for consideration and assent of the President of India was received in the home ministry on May 2, 2022. He said as per practice, bills reserved by the governors of the states for consideration and assent of the President are processed in the home ministry in consultation with the nodal central ministries and departments.

Accordingly, the minister said the consultation process with nodal central ministries and departments concerned with the bill was initiated. “The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the Ministry of AYUSH furnished their ‘comments’ on the bill which have been shared with the government of Tamil Nadu on June 21, 2022 and June 27, 2022, respectively for their comments and clarifications,” he said replying to a written question in Lok Sabha.

Mishra said the consultation process in such cases takes time and therefore no fixed time can be prescribed for such approval. The Tamil Nadu government passed the NEET exemption bill for the second time in February after the governor had returned it last year. The bill was first passed in September 2021 seeking an exemption to the state from the ambit of the NEET.

(With PTI Inputs)

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