The Tamil Nadu Assembly on Tuesday once again adopted a Bill to exempt students from taking the National Entrance cum Eligibility Test, or NEET, for admission to undergraduate medical courses in the state, reported PTI.

The Tamil Nadu Admission to Undergraduate Medical Degree Courses Bill, which was passed in September, sought to exempt students from appearing for NEET. It had proposed that admission of students to medical courses be carried out based on Class 12 examination results.

However, Governor RN Ravi had returned the Bill to the Assembly for reconsideration on February 1. Ravi had said that the Bill was against the interest of students from rural areas and who are economically weaker.

The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam-led government then convened a special Assembly session to adopt the Bill again. On Tuesday, Speaker M Appavu announced that the resolution had been adopted unanimously. Before the voting, Bharatiya Janata Party members staged a walkout without raising any objections.

During the proceedings of the House, Chief Minister MK Stalin said that the reasons cited by the governor to reject the Bill were not correct.

“NEET is not an education system but only a system to coach medical aspirants,” Stalin added.

The question paper of NEET is prepared by the Central Board of Secondary Education and is based on its syllabus, which is different from the Tamil Nadu state board’s academic curriculum. Tamil Nadu has been opposing the examination on the grounds that a common entrance test would harm the prospects of state board students.

In September, three NEET aspirants had died by suicide in the state, leading to massive outrage.

NEET report reflects panel’s ‘jaundiced view’: RN Ravi

While returning the Bill to the Assembly, Ravi had described the Justice AK Rajan committee report as merely reflecting the panel’s “jaundiced view”, reported The Hindu. In September, findings of the state government-appointed committee had showed that the number of state education board students who got admission to medical courses had declined significantly since NEET was introduced in 2017.

However, in a letter, the governor said that the report was based on “several unsubstantiated sweeping assumptions”. He noted the report had described NEET as “directionless and anti-merit”.

“When the Supreme Court has found NEET to be in national interest and also for the protection of the weaker sections of society, will it be open for the State government to seek an exemption from NEET, particularly in view of the fact that the same has been held to be mandatory and applicable across the country?” Ravi asked.

He said that the AK Rajan committee report had claimed NEET was heavily biased in favour of Biology, Physics and Chemistry subjects and not open open to test “all possible knowledge” as done in the state Board examinations.

On this, Ravi said the medical profession was highly disciplined and practioners need to have knowledge about these three subjects as a pre-requisite.

“The report, taking adverse note of tests in these essential subjects and instead introducing an undefined concept of ‘all possible knowledge’ appears bizzare and without merit,” he said.

Approach Centre: SC on extending NEET PG internship deadline

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court on Tuesday allowed candidates of the NEET’s post graduate course to submit a representation to the Centre for seeking an extension of the deadline to complete internship for the purposes for admission to medical courses, reported Live Law.

The petitioners had asked the Supreme Court to extend the deadline from May 31. They had argued that the internship of many final year candidates got delayed as they had been deployed on coronavirus-related duties, reported Bar and Bench.

The Court said it would not make a judicial intervention in the case as it involved a policy decision. However, the court directed the Centre to take a decision on the representation within a week of its submission.