Chennai: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to drop the Centre's move to reintroduce NEET and abide by the Supreme Court ruling, quashing the test for undergraduate and post graduate medical and dental courses.
Welcoming the judgement, she said it had finally brought to an end a long pending and vexatious issue relating to a policy by which students aspiring for medical and dental seats at UG and PG levels had to go through the 'agony' of an uncertain selection process which militated against their interest and the interests of Tamil Nadu.
"The majority judgement has rightly upheld all the valid objections raised by Tamil Nadu along with the contentions of the other petitioners. This judgement of the Honourable Supreme Court has been widely welcomed", she said in a letter to Singh
However, instead of abiding by the judgement, a statement by union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad indicated that the Centre may move the Apex Court for a review of the judgement.
"This has again created confusion and frustration in the minds of thousands of students of Tamil Nadu who have already been covered by a fair and transparent admission policy laid down by the Government of Tamil Nadu which has been working well", she said.
"Tamil Nadu strongly objects to any such fresh purported attempts by the Centre to seek a review of the judgement of the Supreme Court and efforts for reintroduction of NEET in any manner as it infringes upon the States rights and admission policies to medical institutions in Tamil Nadu", she said.
"The reported move of the Union Health Minister in seeking to file a review petition before the Supreme Court of India to reintroduce NEET should be immediately dropped. The Government of India should accept the decision of the Supreme Court without seeking a review", she said.
Recalling her previous letters to Singh expressing opposition to introduction of NEET, Jayalalithaa said the Tamil Nadu government had taken a number of deliberative steps from 2005, culminating in abolition of the Common Entrance Exam for professional under graduate courses in the state.
"A large number of socially and economically backward meritorious rural students have benefited by the decision to abolish the Common Entrance Test in the State", she said.
She noted that Tamil Nadu followed the policy of upholding social justice by 69 per cent reservation for Backward and Most Backward Communities and Scheduled Castes and Tribes in professional courses.
"The introduction of a Common Entrance Test such as NEET would have created confusion and a plethora of litigations and confounded the smooth implementation of this reservation policy, both in under graduate and postgraduate medical and dental admissions in Tamil Nadu", she said.
Introduction of NEET would confound the implementation of these policy initiatives and socio-economic objectives of the State, "since we would have to fall in line with the regulations of the national test, which did not have such enabling provisions", she said.
"The national test would be out of tune with the prevailing socio-economic milieu and administrative requirements of Tamil Nadu", she said.