The Tamil Nadu government on Monday made the “final effort” in seeking exemption for the state’s students from the common nationwide medical entrance test, NEET, with its representatives taking up the issue with Union ministers J P Nadda and Jitendra Singh.
State Health Minister C Vijayabaskar, accompanied by Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan, met Union Health Minister Nadda and Union Minister of State for the Prime Minister’s Office Singh in Delhi.
An official release in Chennai recalled a series of meetings by Tamil Nadu ministers, including Chief Minister K Palaniswami, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his colleagues on the issue over the last few days.
“Following these, as a final effort, Vijayabaskar met Nadda and Singh to pressure them for an exemption for Tamil Nadu from the National Entrance Cum Eligibility Test (NEET),” it said.
The minister was accompanied by Mr Radhakrishnan, it added. Tamil Nadu government has been seeking an exemption from NEET on the ground that otherwise, it would affect the students of the state.
Meanwhile, DMK working president M K Stalin demanded the resignation of Vijayabaskar for “bungling up” over the NEET issue and “playing with the lives of students”.
Alleging that the Mr Palaniswami regime had “failed to protect the interests of the state board students”, he asked the chief minister to call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and “exert pressure” to get the Presidential assent for two Tamil Nadu bills, seeking an exemption for the state from NEET.
He also said if that could not be done, “all the AIADMK (the ruling party in Tamil Nadu) MPs should resign”.
In February, the state Assembly had passed two bills, seeking to pave the way for the continuation of the undergraduate medical admissions on the basis of the class 12 marks and exempt Tamil Nadu from the ambit of NEET.
The rival AIADMK (Puratchi Thalaivi Amma) faction, led by former chief minister O Panneerselvam, had also met the prime minister over the issue.
The opposition parties have been upping the ante against the AIADMK regime on the matter, with the DMK staging a human chain protest here last week to press for Presidential assent to the two Bills.