Given to me, I will never clear NEET Bill: Tamil Nadu Governor Ravi

Mr. Ravi, however, added that the Bill had gone to the President since it was a subject on the Concurrent List of the Constitution.

Updated - August 13, 2023 02:29 am IST

Published - August 12, 2023 04:27 pm IST - CHENNAI

Tamil Nadu Governor R.N. Ravi addresses NEET toppers during an interaction at Bharathiar Mandapam, Raj Bhavan in Chennai on August 12, 2023. 

Tamil Nadu Governor R.N. Ravi addresses NEET toppers during an interaction at Bharathiar Mandapam, Raj Bhavan in Chennai on August 12, 2023.  | Photo Credit: R. Ravindran

Tamil Nadu Governor R.N. Ravi on August 12 said that he would never clear the State’s Bill to exempt it from the National Eligibility-cum Entrance Test (NEET) if it were up to him and asserted that the exam was “going to stay in the country”.

He was speaking at a felicitation of students from Tamil Nadu who had secured high marks in this year’s NEET. Provoked by a student’s father asking the Governor when he would give clearance to ban NEET, Mr. Ravi, retorted: “I am telling you very frankly. I will never give clearance to NEET [exemption Bill]”.

He, however, added that the Bill had gone to the President since it was a subject on the Concurrent List of the Constitution. “It is a subject on which only the President is competent to give the clearance. Given to me, I shall never give it. Be sure about it,” he said.

Parent’s poser to Governor

After the Governor made his speech, the floor was opened for questions from students. As no student came forward initially, a parent rose to ask his question.

K.R. Ammasaiyappan poses a query to Tamil Nadu Governor R.N. Ravi during the latter’s interaction with NEET-UG toppers in Chennai on August 12, 2023.

K.R. Ammasaiyappan poses a query to Tamil Nadu Governor R.N. Ravi during the latter’s interaction with NEET-UG toppers in Chennai on August 12, 2023. | Photo Credit: R. Ravindran

K.R. Ammasaiyappan, the parent, who introduced himself as an employee of Salem Steel Plant, said in his question that many parents were unable to spend money for NEET coaching. Referring to Governor’s remarks in his speech about the better medical infrastructure available in the State, he remarked that those achievements were made without NEET. The Governor replied: “What you have achieved will not suffice for the future.”

Mr. Ammasaiyappan said his daughter had secured a seat in Government Chengalpattu Medical College after scoring 623 out of 720 marks in NEET.

Later, Mr. Ammasaiyappan told the reporters that though he was happy with his daughter’s performance, he was concerned about the students who could not make it due to lack of resources. “I am a government employee. I was able to spend ₹ 5 lakh and shift my daughter to four schools,” he asked.

Children are victims of wrong propaganda: R.N. Ravi

In his reply, Mr. Ravi said that the children in Tamil Nadu were victims of wrong propaganda by vested interests. He alleged that medical admissions were a ₹1,000 crore business prior to the introduction of NEET because of private colleges run by people with money and influence. “It was all out corruption, all out making money,” he contended, adding that colleges used to charge ₹1 crore for each seat. He alleged that if these colleges had 150 seats, they saw it as an opportunity to make ₹150 crore.

He alleged that it was this lobby of private colleges that made “all the noise, all the havoc” regarding students ending their lives. “I have not heard much news in the last one year. Earlier, anything, everywhere, anywhere something happens, [it is because of] NEET. This [sic] boy has committed suicide…one leader goes give ₹ 10 lakh. Another one goes, gives ₹20 lakh to the family. Is it the way? No”, he said. He alleged that a “fear psychosis” was created among students regarding NEET.

Mr. Ravi said a myth was created that coaching was a must to crack NEET. Claiming that many students were clearing without coaching, he stressed the need for teachers to be “fair” and teach properly in schools.

Moreover, he said an impression had been created that the State was doing well before NEET. On the contrary, the number of government school students getting medical admission was low prior to NEET and fell even further soon after NEET came into force, he said. However, due to the 7.5% horizontal reservation introduced by the AIADMK government, more than 600 government school students were now getting admissions in a year, he said, adding that “this is the beauty of NEET”.

Mr. Ravi said NEET had reduced corruption and made it possible for poor students to get admissions. He said he did not want Tamil Nadu’s children to be “intellectually disabled”. “I want our children to compete and be the best. They have proved it [by securing high marks in the exam’,” he said. .

Later, many students shared how hardwork and determination helped them crack the exam. The Governor advised them to visit their schools to inspire other students.

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