TN Elections: How NEET has started the race for power between ADMK and DMK?

NEET is becoming one of the crucial factors for the political parties of Tamil Nadu for the upcoming assembly polls as the national entrance exam has started the race for taking the reign between the ruling ADMK and opposition DMK after both the parties had apparently used the national entrance exam towards showcasing who really takes care of the education of the students in its bid to cover votes. 

On Saturday, when Tamil Nadu was occupied with headlines of the visit of Union Home Minister Amit Shah, the state had also seen a strong clash between both the parties on providing medical education for the government school students. According to reports, DMK has announced that it will take care of the educational expenses for the government school students who have secured admissions in the private medical colleges in Tamil Nadu under the 7.5% NEET reservation quota bill. 

The government school students, who cleared NEET exams this year, had secured MBBS and BDS admissions in the government and private medical colleges in the state. Amid securing admissions, there were reports that many government school students had either withdrawn and rejected admissions in the colleges owing to lack of financial resources and unaffordable medical fees. 

Many students were pushed to face disappointments and uncertainty over chasing their dreams of becoming doctors due to high fees in private institutions. The reports had surfaced their plight and distress following which the DMK had on Saturday said that it will bear the educational expenses of the government school students who have got admissions in the private medical colleges. 

In its statement, DMK said that the party will take care of the complete expenses for the students who secured admissions in private colleges in the medical counseling that commenced on Wednesday. DMK President MK Stalin has asserted that he will take steps with the view of ensuring the dreams of students in rural areas, government schools to become doctors will be accomplished, if the party comes to power. 

According to reports, the Directorate of Medical Education of Tamil Nadu had started counseling on Wednesday for medical admissions for MBBS and BDS seats that are mapped under the state quota. The first phase of the counseling had called the students who fall under 7.5% reservation in the medical admissions. The reports say a total of 313 MBBS seats and 92 BDS seats for allotted for the government school students in the government and private medical colleges. 

The students were asked to pay Rs 25,000 to block the seat in these colleges while the annual fee for MBBS in the private medical colleges had either neared or exceeded Rs 4 lakh, which would be difficult and unaffordable for the government school students. Many students had expressed disappointment with the expenses despite clearing the NEET and securing admissions in the colleges. 

The reports say all MBBS seats and 86 BDS seats were filled by students as of Friday and as the government school students were pushed to uncertainty, the ruling and opposition parties come to fund the students. Moments after DMK announced that it would take care of the educational expenses of the government school students, the ruling ADMK said that the government will directly pay fees to medical and dental colleges for government school students who are admitted under the 7.5% reservation quota. 

Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami had made the announcement and he said a special revolving fund would be created under Tamil Nadu Medical Services Corporation (TNMSC) specifically for this purpose. The Chief Minister has accused MK Stalin of carrying out political drama by announcing that the party would fund for the educational expenses. Edappadi Palaniswami added that the government had already announced that the post-matric and other financial expenses of the students will be taken care of by the government. 

The state government has passed a directive to the private colleges not to refuse admissions to any student under the 7.5% quota due to lack of financial resources. The Directorate of Medical Education has on Friday instructed all the deans of government and private colleges to admit the government school students under the quota without forcing the students to pay the fees and the directorate has also directed colleges to reach out to the disappointed students who have turned away due to lack of financial resources and call them back for admission.