TN CM Stalin writes to 12 chief ministers, seeks support for united fight against NEET

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In an effort to build a strong resistance group against National Eligibility and Entrance Test (NEET), Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin on Monday wrote to his counterparts in 12 states asserting that it was important to assert their constitutional right and position in deciding the method of admission to higher educational institutions.

Along with the letter, Stalin is also sending copies of the Justice A K Rajan Committee report on the impact of NEET on socially backward students and the recently passed Tamil Nadu Admission to Undergraduate Medical Degree Courses Act, 2021. A team of DMK MPs have been tasked to directly handover the Rajan Committee report to brief CMs about the efforts taken by the Tamil Nadu government on the issue.

The letter – sent to CMs of Punjab, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Chattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Telangana, Delhi, Kerala and Goa – calls for a united effort to restore the primacy of state governments in administering the education sector, as envisaged in the Constitution.

Stalin said the A K Rajan Committee’s objective was 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.

“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 state governments to decide on the method of admission in the medical institutions founded, established and run by them,” the letter said.

The letter said the support of CMs from other states was crucial to “ensure that students of our respective states, hailing 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,” the letter said.