Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the Centre would co-operate if Tamil Nadu presented an Ordinance seeking exemption from NEET for one year. Tamil Nadu State Health Minister said that an Ordinance in this regard would be presented to the centre on Monday.
Finally putting an end to speculations, Centre on Sunday decided to grant exemption to Tamil Nadu from NEET for one year. Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the Centre would co-operate if Tamil Nadu presented an Ordinance seeking exemption for government medical and dental colleges from NEET for one year. Tamil Nadu State Health Minister said that an Ordinance in this regard would be presented to the centre on Monday. The Ordinance would allow government colleges in Tamil Nadu to grant admission as per their practice till last year and would have to switch to admission through NEET from next year.
Tamil Nadu Will today present ordinance for exemption from NEET.
The decision has been taken to grant relief students from rural areas of Tamil Nadu. Tamil Nadu has scrapped the practice of entrance examinations for admission to medical courses a long time ago and granted admission on the basis of marks obtained by a student in class 12 board exam. This practice was adopted to provide an even ground to students from rural and underprivileged sections who could not afford expensive coaching for entrance exams. With NEET being made compulsory from this year, such students were at a disadvantage, the state government had argued.
Here’s how the whole story of Tamil Nadu’s exemption from NEET unfolded:
January 31: Tamil Nadu introduces Bill in the Legislative Assembly to exempt aspirants from appearing in the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) for admission to medical and dental colleges.
February 1: Tamil Nadu Assembly unanimously adopts the Bills
February 17: The Governor C Vidyasagar Rao approves the bills.
February 19: Minutes after winning the confidence motion, chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami says the two bills passed by the Tamil Nadu assembly have been sent to President Pranab Mukherjee for approval.
June 22: A state government order reserves 85 per cent of MBBS and BDS seats to state board students and only 15 per cent for CBSE and other boards
July 11: Madras High Court reserves orders on the petitions by Darnish Kumar, a student represented by his parents, and two others and ordered status quo on the admission process till the adjudication of the matter on the petitions by some CBSE students challenging the June 22 state government order.
July 14: The Madras High Court quashes Tamil Nadu government order reserving 85 per cent of MBBS and BDS seats for state board students and only 15 per cent for CBSE and other boards, holding that it amounted to discrimination among equals.
July 24: The Madras High Court adjourns hearing on a PIL seeking a direction to the central and state governments to obtain presidential assent for NEET bills.
July 24: A delegation of DMK MPs meets Union minister J P Nadda and urges him to hasten the process of getting president’s nod for two bills.
July 25: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami meets Prime Minister Narendra Modi and seeks exemption.
July 27: The DMK cadres form human chains across Tamil Nadu to press for President’s assent to two Bills. DMK leader MK Stalin was stopped enroute to Salem and he was held on “law and order” grounds. The leader claimed that the police denied him permission to visit Salem to participate in the human chain protest seeking exemption for the state from NEET.
July 27: A section of Rajya Sabha members belonging to the Congress, the DMK, the TMC and the CPI stage a demonstration in Parliament premises and demanded exemption to Tamil Nadu.
July 31: The Madras High Court dismisses appeals by the Tamil Nadu government and others against a single judge’s order quashing reservation of 85 per cent seats for state board students in medical courses.
July 31: The Tamil Nadu government makes the “final effort” in seeking exemption from NEET, State Health Minister C Vijayabaskar, accompanied by Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan, met Union Health Minister Nadda and Union Minister of State for the Prime Minister’s Office Jitendra Singh in Delhi.
August 1: Protesting against Tamil Nadu government seeking exemption, political outfit, Puthiya Tamizhakam stages a demonstration in Chennai, demanding that medical aspirants should be selected through the test.
August 2: Tamil Nadu continues its efforts to press the Centre seeking an exemption with its Health Minister C Vijayabaskar meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the issue, second time in about three weeks.
August 13: Centre agrees to grant exemption from NEET to Tamil Nadu for one year. Tamil Nadu to present Ordinance on August 14.