Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin on Tuesday demanded that subjects directly connected with people such as education should be transferred to the state list, PTI reported.

“Only if education is moved to the state list of Constitution, qualifying examination methods like the National Eligibility Entrance Test, or NEET, could be completely scrapped,” Stalin said in his Independence Day speech.

NEET is a qualifying test for undergraduate courses in medical and dental colleges across India. It is conducted by the National Testing Agency.

Many NEET aspirants in Tamil Nadu have killed themselves after which in September 2021, the Assembly had passed a bill seeking to exempt the state from the ambit of the centralised medical exam. The bill proposed that admission of students to medical courses be carried out based on Class 12 examination results.

However, Governor RN Ravi had not granted assent to the bill. The Tamil Nadu Assembly then adopted the bill again in February 2022. The bill then went to President Droupadi Murmu since education is on the concurrent list of the Constitution.

On Monday, Stalin had urged the president to immediately give her assent to the bill after a man in Chennai died by suicide, a day after his son ended his life following his unsuccessful attempts to clear NEET.

“With this [the student’s death], the toll of students who have died by suicide due to NEET has increased to 16 in our state,” he had told the president in a letter. “These tragedies could have been definitely avoided if our bill for exemption from NEET had been given assent and the medical admissions done on the basis of +2 marks.”