Tamil Nadu NEET issue: TN students to get exemption for a year, says Sitharaman

Updated On : 14 Aug , 2017 , 07:53 AM
Tamil Nadu NEET issue: Students to get exemption for a year (File Photo)
Tamil Nadu NEET issue: Students to get exemption for a year (File Photo)
New Delhi:

Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today said the Centre will cooperate with Tamil Nadu if it brings an ordinance seeking exemption from NEET for government colleges for one year.

In response, state Health Minister C Vijayabaskar said an ordinance in this regard would be submitted to the Centre on Monday morning.
The development in NEET was seen after Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami, state ministers and Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker M Thambidurai had multiple meetings with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other Central ministers over NEET.

Tamil Nadu, which had initially sought permanent exemption from NEET by passing two Bills in the Assembly, later made efforts to be out of its ambit for at least a year or two.

Sitharaman said although students who had qualified in NEET included those from the state board, students from rural Tamil Nadu were largely out of it.

"The Centre is ready to cooperate in case the Tamil Nadu government comes up with an ordinance seeking exemption from NEET for government colleges," she said adding the exemption was only for a year.

State School Education Minister K A Sengottaiyan, in Coimbatore, said the government wanted total exemption fromNEET for the benefit of students, particularly from ruralareas.

However, efforts were on to prepare students for commontests in future, he said.

Sitharaman said although students who had qualified in NEET included those from the state board, students from rural Tamil Nadu were largely out of it.

 "The Centre is ready to cooperate in case the Tamil Nadu government comes up with an ordinance seeking exemption from NEET for government colleges," she said adding the exemption was only for a year.

 Barring government colleges, NEET has already been implemented for other institutes, the Union minister said. In Puducherry, Union Minister Pon Radhakrishnan said the Centre was inclined to accept a representation from Tamil Nadu on NEET.

Terming Sitharaman's remarks a "good news" Vijaya baskar said, "I thank Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on behalf of Tamil Nadu government and students."

Tomorrow morning the state ordinance seeking exemption from NEET would be submitted to the Centre. A government secretary would be leaving for Delhi tonight and the ordinance would be promulgated after consultations with the chief minister, he said.

The state health minister said the Tamil Nadu government was confident of the Centre's nod for the ordinance and under no circumstances had the Centre been "negative" about the proposal.

"We are seeking exemption only for seats in government colleges and government quota seats in self-financing colleges," he said, adding it was not sought for private institutes. Vijayabaskar said care was being taken to ensure that the proposed move does not face any legal hurdles and the government was confident of completing the admission process ahead of the month-end deadline.

In future, students would be well-prepared for NEET and the syllabus too would be oriented likewise, he said. Leader of Opposition in Tamil Nadu Assembly M K Stalin hit out at the centre and state governments accusing them of "staging drama" on the issue and "betraying" students.

He said if the BJP-led government at the Centre was truly interested in the welfare of Tamil Nadu students it should get presidential assent for the two Bills for permanent exemption of the state from NEET. Actor Kamal Haasan, meanwhile, in a tweet, asked the state government to "talk immediately" (with the Centre) on the NEET issue since the matter involved the future of students.

Earlier, a group of state ministers accompanied by senior party leader and Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker M Thambidurai called on Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in Delhi and took up the issue, over which the opposition parties have been attacking the state government.

Rebel AIADMK leader and former chief minister O Panneerselvam met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the national capital on the same issue.
The state ministers called on Singh and Jaitley days after some of their colleagues, including Health Minister C Vijayabaskar, met Modi and some other Union ministers on the NEET issue.

The ministerial delegation had on July 20 submitted a memorandum to Modi, seeking presidential nod for two bills passed recently by the state assembly aimed at exempting the state from NEET and pending with the Centre.

The bills would pave the way for the continuation of undergraduate medical admissions on the basis of Class 12 marks, exempting Tamil Nadu from the ambit of NEET.

With PTI Input

First Published : Monday, August 14, 2017 07:31 AM
Download the News Nation Mobile App and stay connected with top stories from India and around the world. Available on Android and iOS.