Published: 20th January 2023
Tamil Nadu: Ayush Ministry seeks clarification on anti-NEET bill, again
The anti-NEET bill was passed by the state government for a second time on February 8, 2022 after it was returned by the Governor last year
The Ayush Ministry has again written a letter to the Tamil Nadu government seeking clarification on the anti-NEET (National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test) bill passed by the government. The state received the letter from the Union Ministry on January 13, said Health Minister Ma Subramanian on Thursday, January 19.
Addressing newspersons, Subramanian said the state is consulting with legal experts and soon a reply will be sent to the ministry. "They (the Union Ministry) are seeking clarification on the reply that was already sent by the state," he said, as per a report by The New Indian Express. Last year, the Union Government had sought six clarifications on the bill exempting NEET for admission to undergraduate medical courses in the state.
More on the anti-NEET bill
The anti-NEET bill was passed by the state government for a second time on February 8, 2022 after it was returned by the Governor last year. The Bill was passed first in September 2021.
The Governor then sent the Bill for the assent of the President. Then the Ministry of Home Affairs sent the Bill to the Union Health Ministry and the Ministry of Ayush. The letter seeking clarification was received by the Governor and it was he who forwarded it to the State Department of Law only on July 5.
It is noteworthy that Tamil Nadu's anti-NEET struggle has been going on for a while. In fact, the abolition of NEET was one of the election promises made by the ruling Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) government. The DMK poll manifesto reads in Tamil, “When Kalaignar was the Chief Minister, the admissions to medical courses in Tamil Nadu were based on the marks obtained by students in their Class XII Board exams."
The manifesto adds, "The present Union Government has introduced NEET and snatched the opportunities of students in Tamil Nadu to fulfill their medical ambitions. Once DMK comes to power, a law will be passed to abolish NEET in the first Assembly session and steps will be taken to acquire the President's assent for the law.”
Meanwhile, Subramanian said the state has spent an additional Rs 85 crore for the procurement of drugs and equipment for the 'Makkalai Thedi Maruthuvam' scheme. Equipment for checking blood pressure, diabetes and others are being procured where there is a need. "Also, the state received 18 lakh pneumococcal conjugate vaccine doses from the union health ministry and more doses will be sought from the ministry when needed," Subramanian added, as per the TNIE report.