BJP Had Mooted Reservation For Tamil Nadu Government School Students In Medical College Seats Way Back In 2017, Says Spokesperson SG Suryah

BJP Had Mooted Reservation For Tamil Nadu Government School Students In Medical College Seats Way Back In 2017, Says Spokesperson SG SuryahTamil Nadu BJP spokesman S G Suryah. (SGSuryah/Twitter)
Snapshot
  • BJP president J P Nadda had made the suggestion in April 2017. This was in circulation on social media during the weekend.

    Suryah’s views assume significance in the background of Tamil Nadu government providing a horizontal 7.5 per cent reservation for government school students in all categories of reservation.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had suggested a special reservation quota for medical college seats to students from government schools in Tamil Nadu way back in 2017, according to S G Suryah, a State BJP spokesperson.

In an interview to Aadhan TV last year, Suryah pointed out that current BJP president and former Union Health Minister, J P Nadda, was the first to moot the suggestion in order to ensure that government school students, particularly in rural areas, did not lose out.

Nadda had made the suggestion in April 2017. This was in circulation on social media during the weekend.

Suryah’s views assume significance in the background of Tamil Nadu government providing a horizontal 7.5 per cent reservation for government school students in all categories of reservation.

The NEET Reservation Bill was approved by Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit last week after a couple of weeks' delay. According to a statement from the Governor’s office, he had sought a legal opinion from the Attorney General of India, and hence the delay.

The day before the Governor gave his assent to the reservation Bill, the Tamil Nadu government passed an order to this effect.

This has, however, now become infructuous.

The suggestion for providing government school students a quota came from Nadda when political parties in Tamil Nadu protested against the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) for graduate and post-graduate medical college seats.

NEET was introduced in 2013 by the Manmohan Singh-led United Progressive Alliance government to help students avoid writing entrance tests to many medical colleges to get a seat.

However, on 13 April 2016, the Supreme Court made it mandatory for all admissions to medical colleges to made on the basis of the rank obtained in NEET.

This has been viewed as a development that affected the prospects of rural students, who did not have the time and resources to prepare for NEET.

In the interview, Suryah said that not more than 30 students had got admission to government medical colleges in Tamil Nadu between 2009 and 2016, out of the over 6,000 seats available.

He was responding to arguments that were espousing the cause of government school students in rural areas.

Even under the old system, the government school students got a poor share of the total seats in medical seats.

Pointing to Nadda’s formula, Suryah then said that the State could reserve some seats exclusively for government school students.

Under this 7.5 per cent scheme, government school students could expect to get some 425 seats, provided they clear NEET.

With the 7.5 per cent horizontal reservation being approved by the Governor, media reports said that the number of those who have registered themselves for NEET coaching this year has doubled to 16,000 in government schools.

In this year’s NEET, 747 government school students cleared the entrance exam.

Of the 99,610 students who appeared for NEET in Tamil Nadu, 57.44 per cent cleared the medical entrance exam, up from 48.57 per cent last year.

This has also resulted in politics on the issue taking a back seat. Political parties such as the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam have been trying to raise the issue regularly to gain mileage.

M.R. Subramani is Executive Editor, Swarajya. He tweets @mrsubramani

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