Former Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy has urged the Union government to scrap the NEET (National Eligibility cum Entrance Test) examinations in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, in the wake of several students dying by suicide either out of performance anxiety or low scores.
In a statement, Mr. Narayanasamy questioned the silence of Puducherry Chief Minister N. Rangasamy on the issue, especially after a student who was registered to take the NEET examination, died by suicide recently. The Congress leader called for the NDA government in Puducherry to explain its stand on NEET and said it owed an explanation to the public on the loss of a life, related to the examination.
The former CM also called upon the CM Rangasamy to press the case for scrapping NEET with the Prime Minister. Mr. Narayanasamy said he had, as Chief Minister during the term of the Congress-DMK government, written to the Union Health Minister demanding the scrapping of NEET. The Assembly had also passed a unanimous resolution on the demand. Likewise, the DMK government headed by M.K. Stalin had also sought the withdrawal of NEET.
In spite of at least 30 students allegedly ending their lives in Tamil Nadu, and a student dying by suicide in Puducherry before his third attempt after getting poor scores in his previous attempts, the Union Government led by Narendra Modi, continued to turn a blind eye on the burning issue, Mr. Narayanasamy said.
Mr. Narayanasamy also criticised the government for not making good on its tall promises in the Budget, ranging from gas cylinder subsidies, ₹1,000 monthly assistance for destitute women who head households and free bus travel for women.
The file relating to the ₹1,000 aid scheme now gathers dust in the Chief Secretary’s office. The gas cylinder subsidy has not been fulfilled and the free bus travel proposal for women remained a non-starter in Puducherry, he said. In spite of this, Mr. Narayansamy said, the Chief Minister had gone to town claiming a list of non-starter announcements as achievements on the second anniversary of the government. The AINRC-BJP government, which rode to power on false promises, had deceived the people and its days were numbered, he added.
(Assistance for overcoming suicidal thoughts is available on the State’s health helpline 104, Tele-MANAS 14416, and Sneha’s suicide prevention helpline 044 - 24640050)