NEET 2017: High Court questions Tamil Nadu government NEET exemption request – Tamil Nadu government had earlier insisted for exemption of the students from the state to appear for the NEET common entrance test for MBBS and BDS courses. The state argued that the NEET examination would affect the interest of the rural students in pursuing medical courses.
It was on Wednesday 15th of March 2017, the Madras High Court made some critical observations on Tamil Nadu government opposition to National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET). The court stated that “Are we not ashamed of opposing the NEET examination. Do you underestimate the ability of our students and the standard of education in the state of Tamil Nadu?. “ Do you feel that our students will not do better than the students of other state?. When all other states have not objected what is the reason for Tamil Nadu opposing it?.” The High Court Judge also stated that “ It is argued that NEET would affect the interest of rural students in pursuing medical courses, but I believe that other states who are not opposing NEET examination also have rural students and villages”.
Tamil Nadu government made the above observations during the hearing of a batch of petitions seeking allotment of 50% of the Post Graduate Seats in Private Colleges to government quota. He also posed the questions when the counsel of the state health department brought to the notice of the court that on NEET, Tamil Nadu Assembly had passed a bill to exempt the state and it was pending assent from the president.
Judge also directed the Medical Council of India (MCI) to file an affidavit on the number of seats approved in the diploma and Post-Graduate courses in the colleges of Tamil Nadu and how the seats were filled in the previous academic year. He also appealed to known the steps undertaken by the MCI to see that the seats were filled on the basis of merits and regulations and quota assigned by the MCI. The Affidavit should also state the procedure to be followed by the colleges in the academic year 2017-18.
The Judge also questioned MCI for its ‘inaction’, being the approving authority, what was the role being played by MCI in controlling the institutions which are running like ‘business firms’?. The Judge also questioned What was MCI doing when the institutions did not follow the guidelines “ When the Institutions collect huge amounts it is not your duty to monitor the institutions being an authority of giving approval to the institutions”.
The court also expressed despair over the medical cost incurred in medical education where a candidate had to pay near about 1.5 crores for specially offered courses. The Judge questioned, “How can we expect these people to serve to the public at large”. He also directed the MCI to state as to how much had been expended for a medical student in UG and PG courses separately as per the budgetary allocation in this regard. A judge has by now adjourned the matter for further hearing on April 3rd, and also directing the MCI to state whether it had a computerized database in connection with the facilities in each institution.