High-level committee report on NEET has a ‘jaundiced view’, says TN Governor while returning Bill

Bill seeking NEET exemption ‘not in the interest of the students of the State’, says Governor

Updated - February 08, 2022 01:56 pm IST

Published - February 08, 2022 11:08 am IST - CHENNAI

Governor of Tamil Nadu R N Ravi

Governor of Tamil Nadu R N Ravi

Tamil Nadu Governor R. N. Ravi, while returning the NEET exemption Bill to the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly Speaker , had termed the report of the high-level committee as merely reflecting “the jaundiced view” of the committee, headed by retired Justice A.K. Rajan, who had been appointed by the Tamil Nadu government. The Governor said the Bill was not in the interest of the students of the State.

A copy of the letter of the Governor, to the Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker M. Appavu, was placed before MLAs at a special session of the House , which commenced at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, to re-adopt the NEET exemption Bill.

Also read: Tamil Nadu Assembly re-adopts Bill against NEET

The Governor, in his letter, said the report was based on “several unsubstantiated sweeping assumptions”. The report, he said, had called NEET directionless, anti-merit, and had said it paved the way for poorly-skilled candidates who were financially and socially strong, and thus made the medical profession dominated by poor quality professionals, discouraged complex thinking and higher order of skilling, compared to the State Board examinations.

“When the Supreme Court has found NEET to be in national interest and also for the protection of the weaker sections of society, will it be open for the State government to seek an exemption from NEET, particularly in view of the fact that the same has been held to be mandatory and applicable across the country?” the Governor asked.

Further, he said, the report claimed that NEET was heavily biased in favour of Physics, Chemistry and Biology instead of being open to test all possible knowledge as in the State Board examinations.

Referring to this, the Governor said, “It is beyond argument that the medical profession is a highly specialised discipline of science in which a reasonably sound knowledge of the basics of Physics, Chemistry and Biology is a pre-requisite. The report, taking adverse note of tests in these essential subjects and instead introducing an undefined concept of “all possible knowledge” appears bizzare and without merit”.

The Governor also referred to the statistics cited in the report that in the pre-NEET years, only 30-38 students, hardly 1% from government schools were able to get admission to government medical colleges. “It reflects the sorry state of affairs in the Government schools which cater mostly to the poor students. Ignoring this crucial fact coming in the way of social justice, the report instead goes off the tangent and blames NEET,” he said.

Further, Mr. Ravi said, on the issue of the report arguing that NEET was against social justice as it allegedly favoured rich students who take advantage of coaching that the poor cannot afford, the report “totally ignores the fact that coaching skews the State Board results also”.

The Governor pointed out that in the case of Christian Medical College Vellore Association vs. Union of India (2020), the Supreme Court had ruled that the prescription of NEET was to provide equal opportunities and a level launching platform to an individual to perform his duty as enshrined under Article 51-A(j).

The NEET scheme has been held to be in complete conformity with the Constitutional scheme, Mr. Ravi said adding that Articles 46 and 47 address the issues of social justice at large, particularly concerning the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and weaker sections.

Returning the Bill for reconsideration of the House, he said the Assembly needed to deliberate on these issues.

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