NEET exemption Bill file under consideration: Raj Bhavan

Chief Minister’s Secretariat and the Chief Secretary are yet to respond to the RTI Act query on the status of the Bill.

The Bill to admit students to undergraduate medical courses in Tamil Nadu on the basis of Plus Two marks, is “under consideration” by Governor R.N. Ravi, the Raj Bhavan said in a response to queries under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.

P.B. Prince Gajendra Babu, general secretary, State Platform for Common School System – Tamil Nadu, had filed an application under the RTI Act seeking to know the status of the Bill.

Responding to his query on what action was taken by the Governor on the Bill and its current status, the Raj Bhavan said: “The file is under consideration”. The response was given on December 17 by S. Venkateshwaran, Under Secretary to the Governor, in his capacity as the Public Information Officer of Raj Bhavan.

Incidentally, the offices of the Chief Minister’s Secretariat and the Chief Secretary were yet to respond to Mr. Babu’s queries on the issue. In addition to the action taken and the status of the Bill, he had asked if any letter or query was received from the Governor, and whether the State had sent any reply or reminder to the Governor on the Bill.

On September 13, the Legislative Assembly passed the Tamil Nadu Admission to Undergraduate Medical Degree Courses Bill, 2021, seeking to “dispense” with the requirement for candidates in the State to qualify in the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) for admission to undergraduate medical courses. Instead, the State wanted to admit students on the basis of their Class XII Board Exam marks.

The Bill was sent to the Raj Bhavan for forwarding it to Rashtrapati Bhavani for Presidential assent when Banwarilal Purohit was Governor. Subsequently, Mr. Ravi had taken over the gubernatorial assignment. The Legislative Assembly secretariat were also yet to respond to Mr. Babu’s queries.

Incidentally, on November 27, the State Government released a photograph of Chief Minister M.K. Stalin meeting the Governor and said the former had pressed for forwarding the NEET Bill to the President immediately. However, the Raj Bhavan released a photograph of the meeting on the same day that said that the steps taken by the Government on incessant rains and COVID-19 pandemic in Tamil Nadu were discussed. It made no mention of the discussion on the NEET Bill.

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