Abolish NEET or clear TN bill to exclude state from competitive exams: DMK in Rajya Sabha

The bill has been pending the "Centre's assent for nearly three years", causing "anxiety" among students and parents, he said
DMK Rajya Sabha member P Wilson
DMK Rajya Sabha member P Wilson(EdexLive photo)

DMK (Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam) Rajya Sabha member P Wilson on Tuesday, July 2 urged the central government to either abolish the medical entrance exam the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) or approve Tamil Nadu's NEET exemption bill to exclude the state from the competitive exam. His appeal in the Upper House of Parliament came amid a row over alleged irregularities in the conduct of the NEET for admissions to medical courses, as stated in a report by PTI.

During the debate on the Motion of Thanks to the President's address in the Rajya Sabha, he said the state legislative assembly had passed the Tamil Nadu Admission to Medical Courses Bill in 2021 and subsequently, passed a resolution unanimously against the exam and to address the "NEET menace". However, the Bill has been pending the "Centre's assent for nearly three years", causing "anxiety" among students and parents, he said.

Therefore, Wilson said, "We seek the PM's immediate attention to either approve the Bill passed by the state government or bring out amendments to the National Medical Commission Act to abolish the NEET and next exam system at the national level."

Conducted on May 5, the NEET UG 2024 exam witnessed the participation of 23.33 lakh students. However, the exam is suffering from various irregularities such as malpractices, paper leaks, grace marks and others. Several petitions were filed in the Supreme Court and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is investigating filed an FIR as well.

Wilson also raised concerns about the handling of competitive exams, including the NEET, by the National Testing Agency (NTA). The agency that handles crucial national-level tests is registered under the Societies Registration Act "like any other flat owner or housing society", the DMK leader said.

"From 2014 to 2024, the government has passed 427 Bills in the Lok Sabha and 365 bills in the Rajya Sabha. However, the Union government was not interested in introducing legislation to provide statutory backing to the NTA," Wilson said and claimed that this lack of legislation could potentially "shield the agency from accountability".

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