NEET: Mixed reaction for govt's move

By Naomi N Published on Apr 17, 2017 04:01 PM IST

Chennai: Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, J P Nadda, had recently urged the Tamilnadu government to provide special reservation to students from State board and the rural areas with regard to the NEET issue.

This has come in for criticism as technically it is not possible in the last hour. Also, such attempts were stopped by courts in the past.

Speaking to News Today, general secretary of Doctors Association for Social Equality (DASE) G R Ravindranath said, "In the past, during DMK rule, 15 per cent seats were reserved for rural students, which was increased to 25 per cent.

Later, it was termed as ‘unconstitutional to give geographical reservation’ and nullified by the Supreme Court, Such a provision actually calls for a constitutional amendment."

Educationists say the need of the hour is to give reservation for students belonging to government institutions.

"Most of the residential schools with good teachers are located in the rural areas, This is not a rural-urban issue. The students in government institutions, even in the cities need reservation. The interference of the Centre is unfair. Why do we have a federal system? This is against State autonomy. What is the guarantee that the 85 per cent reservation will be increased?"

It may be noted that all the super specialty seats are now pooled into the all-India quota, even in the case of PG NEET seats, which initially had 25 per cent reservation, it was increased to 50 per cent.

But director of ChangeIndia, A Narayanan, has a different take. He said, "NEET has restored social justice. It has brought a level playing field in favour of the rural students in the State and is against private medical colleges exploiting them.

Such students can make an entry and bag seats by writing the exam in the vernacular language. The existing class 12 cut-off marks was unfair to them as less than one per cent made it to the list."

However, the issue of language deprivation still persists in NEET.

President of Muslim Students Federation (MSF), Ashraf Ali, said, "We are awaiting the coming year for the inclusion of Urdu. A good majority of students are preparing for the exam in Urdu as they studied in Urdu medium schools."

In Tamilnadu, there are five schools which have students following Urdu medium till class 12.

The schools are located in Vellore, Hosur and Ambur areas. The students of these schools are affected by the decision as they will not be able to write the national-level exam in Urdu.