Chennai: The Tamil Nadu government on Tuesday “strongly” objected to any move by the Centre to introduce a single national-level examination for medical courses, saying any form of common entrance test “by design favour the urban elite” and rural students cannot compete with them.
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa said her government has consistently been of the view that common entrance exams “by design favour the urban elite” and rural students and students from poorer socio-economic background are unable to compete with students from such urban elite background in the examinations.
Rural students were at a disadvantage as they lacked the resources to enroll in training institutes and coaching classes and did not have access to study materials available to their urban counterparts, she said.
Recalling her consistent opposition to any such examination, Jayalalithaa said she had conveyed to him in October last her government’s “strong objection” to the Centre seeking a review of Supreme Court judgement on the issue of a National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET) for medical admissions proposed in 2013 during previous UPA regime.
It had been quashed by the Supreme Court but the then central government had filed a review petition even as her government had moved the apex court against that, she said.
“I had also strongly cautioned against any attempts to introduce such a common entrance test in any other manner or by any other name, as it infringes upon the state’s autonomy and right to regulate the admission policies to medical educational institutions in Tamil Nadu,” she said.
In a memorandum submitted by her to Modi, she had urged him to review the stand taken by the UPA government and withdraw the review petition filed and abide by the 2013 decision of the Supreme Court, Jayalalithaa said.
“Despite our strong and sustained objections having been made abundantly clear, I am deeply concerned by reports that have appeared in a section of the media, which mention that, based on a proposal by the Medical Council of India, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has sought the views of other ministries on the introduction of a common examination for medical admission.”
“These media reports are yet again creating confusion and frustration in the minds of thousands of students of Tamil Nadu who are already covered by a fair and transparent admission policy laid down by the government of Tamil Nadu, which has been working well,” she said.