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New Delhi: A government-appointed committee in Tamil Nadu has found that students from rural areas, economically weaker backgrounds, Tamil-medium schools and state board affiliated schools are less likely to succeed in the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET). According to the Indian Express, the proportion of such students in the state’s medical colleges has significantly decreased since NEET was introduced in 2017-18, according to the panel.
Just in the last week, three students have died by suicide in Tamil Nadu, allegedly by the pressure they were facing because of NEET.
On Monday, Tamil Nadu passed a Bill that attempts to bypass NEET and instead allows medical admissions to state colleges based on marks obtained in Class XII or Plus Two.
Introducing the Tamil Nadu Admission to Undergraduate Medical Degree Courses Bill in the assembly, Tamil Nadu chief minister M.K. Stalin said the law would “script history in social justice”. The DMK government had in June constituted a high-level committee headed by retired Madras high court judge A.K. Rajan to study the impact of NEET. The committee’s report was decidedly against NEET.
This Bill, according to the Indian Express, was based in the committee’s report. The panel had found that the proportion of rural students in medical colleges fell from an average of 61.45% (pre-NEET) to 50.81% (post-NEET).
Government school students had a hard time getting into medical colleges even before NEET was introduced, but the nine-member committee found that their proportion decreased even more after the exam was introduced – from 1.12% to 0.06%.
Meanwhile, the share of students coming from English-medium school has gone up – from 85.12% before to 98.01% after NEET.
The proportion of students whose parents earned less than Rs 2.5 lakh per annum also decreased, 47.42% in 2016-17 to 41.05% in 2020-21, Indian Express reported.
NEET has been a politically sensitive issue in the state for many years. The death by suicide of Anita, a 17-year-old girl who was from a Dalit family, in 2017 resulted in numerous protests across the state. She had scored high marks in Class XII but was unable to clear NEET.