Why in news?

  • Tamil Nadu Governor gave his assent to a Bill that sought to reserve 7.5% seats inundergraduate medical admissions for government-school students who qualified NEET.


What Is NEET?

  • It is an entrance exam for medical courses like MBBS, BDS, and Post-Graduation in both government and private medical colleges.
  • NEET-UG replaced the All India Pre Medical Test (AIPMT) and all individual MBBS exams conducted by states or colleges themselves in 2013.
  • The NTA – National Testing Agency, the regulatory body for NEET UG Exam, conducts it every year in various parts of India in multiple languages.
  • The responsibility of the NTA is limited to the conduct of the entrance examination, declaration of result and for providing an “All India Rank Merit List” to the Directorate General Health Service, Government of India for the conduct of counselling for 15% All India Quota Seats and for providing the result to States/other Counselling Authorities.
  • NEET is based on a core curriculum approach, whereby the syllabi of all the school boards have been taken into consideration



  • Against Federal Spirit: There are allegations that NEET is infringing upon the state governments’ power to hold admissions in the medical colleges funded by them.
  • Infringes on Autonomy: NEET is an assault on the autonomy of universities and higher education institutions, particularly private, unaided ones
  • Against Article 30 and 19(1)(g): This provides right to minority educational institutions to administer themselves. If a minority institution wants additional qualifications over and above the NEET score, denial of such additional and superior qualifications undermines its choice
  • Regional Imbalance: Students from some of the state boards(Ex. North East) are at a disadvantage from progressive boards (Ex: Delhi).
  • Urban Bias: Students in rural India and those studying in state government-run schools in vernacular medium seem to have a lesser chance of success.
  • Lack of Uniformity: There are wide variations with regard to curriculum design and curriculum evaluation among CBSE and State Boards
  • Enhances the risk: If a student has to give multiple tests (different state boards/institutions), then the chances of failure in one can be made up in another.
  • Credibility Issues: The NEET paper was leaked twice in the last four years; therefore, there is not much confidence in NEET’s fairness and transparency.
  • Issue of wrong translation: In the 2018 NEET, as many as 49 questions had errors in Tamil translation
  • Element of Class: Empirical research in the USA on standardised common tests has found that these tests are biased against the poorer and underprivileged sections of population, women and minorities
  • Not Comprehensive: Common admission tests cannot measure abilities that are essential for learning such as imagination, curiosity and motivation.


Why was Tamil Nadu opposed to NEET?

  • One of the primary arguments that were made was that NEET would push certain categories of students out of the race for MBBS degrees, and its goal of providing equitable opportunities for all would be frustrated.
  • Students from government schools and rural areas would not be able to afford the coaching that would be essential for the competitive test, the State government argued.
  • Since 2017, when NEET was implemented in Tamil Nadu, only 14 students from government schools have managed to get admitted to the MBBS course


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