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No exemption to Tamil Nadu on NEET: Health Minister

Health Minister Faggan Singh Kulaste at an event in Delhi

Exemptions to the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test cannot be given to any place or zones inside India as a common entrance test is required under the law, Faggan Singh Kulaste, junior minister in charge of health and family welfare said.

“Section 10D of Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 prescribes conducting of a uniform entrance examination namely National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) to all medical educational institutions at undergraduate and post-graduate level… the provisions of the IMC Act for conducting NEET apply across the country without any exemption,” Kulaste said, responding to the demand by Tamil Nadu to exempt its colleges from the national medical college entrance test.

The state even passed the Tamil Nadu Admission to MBBS and BDS Courses Bill 2017 last month to do away with any entrance test for medical and dental college admissions.

The state has also sent emissaries to New Delhi to plead its case.

MONEY MATTERS

Even though for-profit organizations are banned from running higher educational institutions, medical colleges are money spinners for several politicians and businessmen who operate them under various trusts.

In addition to regular fees than run into millions of rupees, these colleges charge additional millions from non-meritorious students to get them entry into these colleges. The imposition of NEET threatens this model.

Politicians from Maharashtra and Karnataka have also opposed the common entrance test, though these states have not passed any legislation.

PRIMACY TO CENTER

Under the Indian constitution, education is part of concurrent list. Both the states and the center have the right to frame laws on subjects in the concurrent list.

However, in case of conflicting provisions, those of the central law will have priority. For now, Tamil Nadu colleges too will have to enroll their medical students via the NEET.

A total of 1.16 lakh students appeared in NEET – PG-2017 test held in December, 2016, and 64,139 qualified for seats.

Out of a total 65,183 MBBS seats in India, Tamil Nadu accounts for 6,615. Out of these, 3,600 are run by private institutions.

With a total of 8,245 seats, neighboring Karnataka has the highest number of MBBS seats in the country. Out of these, 5,945 belong to the private sector.

Maharashtra has 7,120 seats, including 4,070 in private colleges.

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