TN's Ariyalur medical college auditorium is named after Anitha...MK Stalin makes huge announcement!

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin has made a major announcement on Tuesday - March 14 by naming the Auditorium of Ariyalur Medical College after Anitha, a medical aspirant of the Ariyalur district who died by suicide due to the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET). She died in September 2017 and her death has sparked what's prevailing a heated campaign against NEET in Tamil Nadu. 

Her death shook the state and intensified the protests against the NEET. It was the sequel of the protests that the DMK government, after coming to power in 2021, is fighting to abolish the contentious single-window medical examination from Tamil Nadu. To honour Anitha, Chief Minister MK Stalin on Tuesday announced that an auditorium at the Government Ariyalur Medical College campus, would be named after her. 

An official release from the state government said that the auditorium is being named in memory of Anitha, who undertook a legal struggle against NEET in the Supreme Court and gave her life. MK Stalin said that Anitha's death made the world realise the brutal nature of the NEET. As the auditorium was named after Anitha, the development has drawn huge attention.  

The auditorium with 850 seats was constructed at a cost of Rs 22 crore at the new hospital in the Ariyalur Medical College campus. The auditorium would also be inaugurated on March 14. It is pertinent to note that in January 2022, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated Ariyalur Medical College in the presence of Chief Minister MK Stalin after which the college has been admitting students. 

Besides honouring Anitha, MK Stalin has also highlighted the measures taken by the state government against NEET. The Chief Minister said that the Bill adopted by the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly has been forwarded for the President's approval. The release quoted Stalin saying, "We are continuously insisting that the Union government grant its assent." 

Anitha was 17-year-old when she died in September 2017. She belonged to a Scheduled Caste community and she scored 1,176 marks out of 1,200 in her Class 12 board examinations. She aspired to pursue medical but since the Centre has hastily introduced NEET, Anitha was pushed to take up the NEET to get a medical seat. Anitha was the daughter of a daily wage labourer and she fought against the NEET at the Supreme Court. 

In her petition, Anitha, whose low mark in NEET barred her from pursuing medical studies, claimed in the Supreme Court that the NEET was against the interests of rural students. However, after hearing the case, the Supreme Court said that the admissions for the undergraduate medical studies should be made only based on NEET. On September 1, 2017, nine days after the verdict, Anitha died by suicide by hanging herself after NEET curbed her medical aspiration.