Take steps to eliminate NEET, says panel; wants Plus 2 marks as sole criteria for medical admission
Take steps to eliminate NEET, says panel; wants Plus 2 marks as sole criteria for medical admission - PC : Freepik
Retired judge of Madras High Court Justice A K Rajan has asked the Tamil Nadu government to take immediate steps to eliminate the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) through legal and/or legislative procedures and make higher secondary examination marks the sole criteria for admission to first-year medical programmes.

The government should ensure equality in opportunity to students from different boards of education and normalisation of scores may be followed, the retired judge who headed a high-level committee, has recommended.

The panel was constituted after DMK stormed to power in the state in 2021, to study the impact of the NEET-based admission process.

The committee's report, based on extensive data analysis and inputs from students, parents and the public, has been published and shared with various state governments to expose NEET's anti-poor and anti-social justice nature.

"DMK was the first to foresee the hazards of #NEET and undertook a large-scale campaign against it," Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and DMK president M K Stalin, said in a post on the social media platform X, sharing the comprehensive report submitted to his government, in English and other regional languages.

In its recommendations, the committee said "the State government may undertake immediate steps to eliminate NEET, as qualifying criteria for admission to medical programmes, by following the required legal and/or legislative procedures."

The government may take a stand that the words 'University education found in Entry 25 List III is a 'general provision and 'Regulation of Universities" in Entry II is a 'special' provision: Entry 32 is an exclusive State subject that cannot be ignored.

Admission to affiliated colleges under the Tamil Nadu Dr. MGR Medical University is governed by Act 3 of 2007 and hence admission to those seats will be filled as per the provisions of that Act. In this regard, the state may follow the required procedures to satisfy the legal and constitutional provisions, it said.

Alternatively, the state government may pass an Act, similar to Act 3/2007, indicating the need for the elimination of NEET at all levels of medical Education, and get the President's assent for the same to ensure social justice and protect all vulnerable student communities from being discriminated in admission to medical education programmes.

The higher secondary scores should become the sole admission criteria for admission to first degree medical programmes, and that to ensure equality in opportunity to students from different boards of education, normalisation of scores may be followed, the committee recommended.

The socio, economic and other demographic 'adversities' that cause poor performance of all relevant students, mainly the disadvantaged and underprivileged, in their HSC examination, shall be identified, and according to the degree of intensities of adversities, re-profiling of scores can be done using a pre-developed framework of Adversity Score'.

It emphasised the reformation of school education up to HSC so that 'learning" as opposed to 'coaching’ is fostered, and right from curriculum through teaching and learning to learning assessment (Board Examination), shall be tweaked toward enabling and empowering students with subject knowledge and higher order skills.

The rote form of learning assessment that leads to coaching shall be eliminated and that the acquired knowledge and skills shall be focussed, it said.

As far as deemed universities are concerned, an Act has to be passed by the Tamil Nadu Assembly to bring all the deemed universities of Tamil Nadu under its purview, as under Act 3/2007 and the President's assent has to be obtained.

"Based on the recommendations in the report, a Bill seeking exemption from NEET was unanimously passed by the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly. It is now awaiting Presidential assent, after an inordinate delay from the Tamil Nadu Governor's side," Stalin said.

As nationwide opposition to NEET grew due to the recent large-scale discrepancies, "we are sharing the report of Justice A K Rajan Committee in English and all major Indian languages for everyone to better understand the ill-effects of NEET," the Chief Minister said in his post.