Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi has urged the Centre to reconsider its move to conduct a national-level common entrance examination for medical admissions.

In a letter addressed to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, the Chief Minister stated that the State could not accept the move. He cited social justice policy and the advantages reaped by rural students from disadvantaged sections because of the State government's decision to scrap entrance examinations.

He also stated that the move would be considered as an infringement by the Union government on the autonomy of States. Mr. Karunanidhi was referring to the submission made by the Union government in the Supreme Court on the Medical Council of India recommendation to conduct a common entrance examination from 2011-2012.

He said the State government had scrapped entrance examinations for engineering and medical admissions in 2007-2008 through legislation with the Presidential assent. This had been done to safeguard the interests of socially and economically disadvantaged students from rural areas. The move had benefited many such students and had also resulted in more doctors agreeing to work in rural areas.

Stating that Tamil Nadu had implemented 69 per cent reservation for socially disadvantaged sections, the Chief Minister said this would be difficult to implement when there was a common entrance examination. As a government intent on practising social justice, the government could not accept the move as it would be detrimental to the interests of socially disadvantaged communities.

Mr. Karunanidhi said the State government was taking steps to implead itself in the Supreme Court case and requested the Prime Minister and the Union Health Minister to consider the interests of Tamil Nadu students favourably.

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