NEET 2017: After Madras High Court order of status quo, what’s next for Tamil Nadu medical admission?

Tamil Nadu has once again become the centre of controversy with the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) and admission of medical students in the MBBS and BDS courses in lurch. On Tuesday, July 11, the Madras High Court ordered a status quo on the admission process in Tamil Nadu, resulting in further delay of releasing the state merit list of students. With nearly all the other states already releasing the state merit list for admission, Tamil Nadu is lagging because of the ongoing case registered in the Madras High Court.

The petition in the court was filed by a NEET aspirant Darnish Kumar and two others, challenging the government decision of reserving 85% seats for state board candidates and rest of the 15% seats for the CBSE and other board students. Advocate L Muralikrishnan, who is the petitioner’s lawyer, spoke to PaGaLGuY and informed that the court status quo will further delay the medical admission proceedings. “The corum headed by Justice K Ravichandra Baabu has put a status quo on the matter and we are not sure when the court will hear the matter next. But until further orders, the state medical authority will not be able to publish merit list for state medical college admissions to MBBS and BDS courses,” said Muralikrishnan.

The government of Tamil Nadu on June 22 decided to go ahead with an order stating that 85% of the medical states in the state will be reserved for the candidates belonging to state board, as a compensation for imposition of NEET on the state. The present Tamil Nadu government had earlier pushed two medical bills for President’s assent, that could make Tamil Nadu immune from NEET UG and PG. However, the assent on the bills never came from the President’s office despite repeated demands from the government. Earlier, the Tamil Nadu medical admissions were done based on the marks attained by students in their Higher Secondary examination. In 2016 as well, Tamil Nadu was exempted from the ambit of NEET for medical admission. But, it seemed highly unlikely this year and thus the government came up with a recent resolution to provide a level playing ground for the state board students in the state.

“Over 84,000 students have taken the examination who are from the state board, which is way more than the paltry 5 thousand students who took it from CBSE board. The state board students have already undergone a lot of stress due to the political drama in the state around NEET,” said a student from Tamil Nadu state board, who has got 406 marks in NEET 2017. She is confident of getting a government medical seat in her state without the proposed reservation of 85% for the state board students.

According to the MCI (Medical Council of India) website data, there are 3,250 MBBS seats in 25 government medical colleges and 2,850 seats in 24 private medical colleges in the state. Of these seats, the 15% All India Quota (AIQ) seats in the government colleges will be filled by the Medical Counselling Committee (MCC). The seats in the private colleges and rest of the government college seats will be filled by the Directorate of Medical Education, Tamil Nadu.

In case the Madras High Court goes in favour of the state of Tamil Nadu and agrees to the 85%-15% admission, the Directorate of Medical Education, Tamil Nadu would get a green signal to conduct the counselling process and post the merit list on their website.

“I hope from the next year onwards, the state board students might get used to the CBSE syllabus and compete with them in an exam, questions of which put CBSE board students in an advantageous position,” concluded the student.

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