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Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin has sought the support of chief ministers of 12 states against the conduct of the medical entrance examination NEET. The letter has been written with an aim to highlight “the need to put up a united effort to restore the primacy of state governments in administering the education sector, as envisaged in the constitution”. The letter has been sent to states mostly ruled by opposition parties.

Stalin has requested the chief ministers of Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Jharkhand, Kerala, Maharashtra, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Telangana, West Bengal and Goa to extend their support in this regard “to ensure that the students of our respective states, hailing those from rural areas and marginalised sections of the society are not put to hardship in obtaining admissions to higher educational institutions. We need to put up a united effort to restore the primacy of state governments in administering the education sector, as envisaged in our constitution,” he wrote.

The letter added, “Our considered position has always been that the move by the Union Government to introduce NEET goes against the spirit of the federalism and violates the constitutional balance of power by curbing the rights of the state governments to decide on the method of admission in the medical institutions founded, established and run by them.”

Stalin also enclosed the report submitted by Justice AK Rajan Committee, which was appointed by the Tamil Nadu government for studying whether the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) based admission process has affected the socially backward students in the past few years.

The committee was also requested to suggest alternative admission procedures which would benefit all students, the feasibility of implementing such alternatives and the legal steps to be undertaken to implement such fair and equitable methods. Based on the recommendation of the committee, the Tamil Nadu State has recently passed the ‘Tamil Nadu Admission to Undergraduate Medical Degree Courses Act, 2021’.

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