On Tuesday, the Tamil Nadu government passed a bill that provides 7.5% reservation in UG medical colleges for students of government schools who qualify NEET exams but couldn't get seats. The state had abolished the medical entrance exams for almost a decade now, stating that it leads to stress among students and that poor students could not afford private coaching.
This development comes at the backdrop of the reports that the representation of government school students in medical colleges reduced drastically after the implementation of the national medical entrance exam. Tamil Nadu chief minister Edapadi Palanisamy had also urged Centre to exempt the state from NEET.
Earlier in July, the Cabinet had approved the provision of a 7.5% quota within the existing reservation in medical UG courses for the students of state government higher secondary schools. According to sources, "quota within quota" covers government seats in private colleges too.
The three-day monsoon session of the Tamil Nadu Assembly commenced on Monday at the Kalaivanar auditorium, amidst demand by the opposition DMK for a ban on the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) in the state. The session was held at the auditorium and not Fort St.George as is the practice, due to the coronavirus pandemic with the former offering more space to follow social distancing.
On the first day of the session, obituary references were made to former President Pranab Mukherjee, DMK MLA J Anbazhagan who died of Covid-19 and all those in the state who succumbed to coronavirus. The opposition DMK led by party President M K Stalin turned up wearing face masks containing the bilingual slogans "Ban NEET, Save TN Students".