Tamil Nadu students perform better at NEET, but leaders call for its abolition after students' suicide

WION Chennai Jun 06, 2019, 11.59 AM(IST) Written By: Sidharth MP

Representative image. Photograph:( Zee News Network )

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Though there has been a significant improvement in the performance of medical students from Tamil Nadu, the state’s pass percentage is lower than the national average which is around 56 per cent.

Medical aspirants from Tamil Nadu bettered their 2018 performance in the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test for admissions, with the state’s overall pass percentage at around 48.57 per cent, against the previous year’s 39.56 per cent. 

However, the major political parties in the state, the ruling AIADMK and the opposition DMK renewed call for its abolition from the state.

The demand has come after two medical students took an extreme step and committed suicide allegedly owing to poor scores.

Hours after the results were declared on Wednesday, two aspirants, Rithushree of Tiruppur district and Vaishya of Pattukottai committed suicide.

As word spread about the students’ suicide, the political leaders renewed their calls for NEET exemption for Tamil Nadu or having it abolished in the state.

 Reacting to the news, DMK President and Tamil Nadu’s leader of the opposition MK Stalin tweeted, "It is heart-breaking to know of the suicides, keeping in line with the principles of federalism, the Central government must perform its duty and responsibilities by abolishing NEET and respecting the sentiments and wishes of the State Governments."

In a statement, Stalin also assured that DMK Members of Parliament would raise the issue when the House is in session and attempt to get the issue resolved.

“How many more lives is NEET going to claim? How many more dreams are to be crushed by it? Over two years ago the Tamil Nadu Assembly had passed amendments, what happened to the ordinance that was sent to the Central government”, tweeted RK Nagar MLA and AMMK leader TTV Dinakaran. 

Speaking to reporters, Tamil Nadu Fisheries Minister D. Jayakumar said,"It was saddening to know the suicides of the medical aspirant."

He also reiterated that the AIADMK Government was keen on having Tamil Nadu exempt from NEET, political and legal measures are being taken to ensure the same. "Suicide is not a solution for any issue, we must face any challenge with self-confidence," he added.  

Tamil Nadu’s Health Minister Vijayabaskar refused to answer a question on NEET and walked away.

The recent suicides brought back the memories of Anita, another NEET aspirant from Tamil Nadu who had committed suicide after she failed to qualify the examination. Her death had triggered state-wide outrage with political parties and students who protested expressing their anger.

NEET was and is being opposed in Tamil Nadu on the grounds that it puts the students from rural areas and economically weaker sections at a disadvantage, as they would not be able to afford the specialised coaching that is required to crack the exam.

Earlier, the medical admissions process in Tamil Nadu was based on the score that students obtained in Class XII board exams.

Though there has been a significant improvement in the performance of medical students from Tamil Nadu, the state’s pass percentage is lower than the national average which is around 56 per cent.