Tamil Nadu

TN Assembly passes Bill to provide horizontal reservation for government school students in medical admissions

TN Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami. File   | Photo Credit: C. VENKATACHALAPATHY

The Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly on Tuesday unanimously passed a Bill that provides for 7.5% horizontal reservation on a preferential basis for National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) qualified students from government schools in the undergraduate medical admissions in the State.

The Bill moved by Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami in the House would apply to undergraduate programmes in medicine, dentistry, Indian medicine and homeopathy. It would not apply to seats reserved for all India quota.

"Students studied in government schools shall also be entitled to compete for the government seats, other than those set apart on preferential basis, along with the students, who studied in private schools," read a provision in the legislation.

Students, who studied from Class VI to Higher Secondary Course in government schools, including Corporation schools, Municipal schools, Adi Dravidar and Tribal Welfare schools, Kallar Reclamation schools, Forest Department schools and those managed by government departments and have qualified the NEET, would benefit from this legislation.

The AIADMK government took a policy decision to implement 7.5% horizontal reservation for government school students, who qualified NEET in medical admissions following a recommendation of a Commission headed by retired High Court judge P. Kalaiyarasan.

"It is evident from the Commission's report that there exist de facto inequalities between the government school students and the private school students," the legislation said and added that the government has decided to take affirmative action so as to bring about real equality between students who studied in government schools and in private schools.

When the Bill was taken up for consideration, DMK legislator R. Masilamani (Mailam) urged that the horizontal reservation should be eventually expanded to students studying in government-aided schools too.

To his query on whether existing reservations would be implemented in the 7.5% horizontal reservation, Law Minister C.Ve. Shanmugam clarified in the affirmative. After a voice vote conducted by Speaker P. Dhanapal, the Bill was unanimously passed by the House.

The Commission in his report had observed students of the government schools are placed at a disadvantageous position as compared to their counterparts in private schools “due to cognitive gap created by socio-economic factors such as caste, wealth, parental occupation, parental education, gender, etc., and these psychological and socio-economic barriers cannot be bridged by a few months of intensive coaching for NEET, even if provided for free.”

The Commission had recommended that 10% of seats for admission to the MBBS course can be set apart on a preferential basis to students, who studied from Class VI to Higher Secondary Course in State government schools and who have qualified in NEET.

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Printable version | Sep 17, 2021 12:49:08 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/tamil-nadu-assembly-passes-bill-to-provide-horizontal-reservation-for-government-school-students-in-medical-admissions/article32611351.ece

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