The Tamil Nadu Assembly on Monday passed the bill seeking exemption from the National Entrance-cum-Eligibility Test (NEET) and make admissions to medical colleges based on the marks scored by the students in the Class 12 examinations (intermediate).

Chief Minister M.K. Stalin had introduced the Tamil Nadu Admission to Undergraduate Medical Degree Courses Act-2021 and it was passed by voice vote.

M K Stalin

The principal opposition party AIADMK, which had walked out of the house earlier, later came back to support the bill. Former Chief Minister and the Leader of Opposition, K. Palaniswami had said that his party will extend its support to the Bill.

However, members of the BJP walked out of when the bill was put to vote. Stalin said his DMK has been opposing NEET from the beginning and after coming to power, has started the legal fight against it.

He sought the support of the opposition parties for the bill. Stalin said the government is trying to bring the admission process for medical seats based on Class 12 standard marks. He said that the bill provides for 7.5 per cent reservation in medical colleges for students who had studied in government schools.

Stalin said the government will try to get the assent of the President for the Bill. This is the second time a bill for such a purpose was passed in the Assembly. A similar bill was passed by the assembly during the AIADMK regime but it did not get the President's assent.

There has been severe opposition to the NEET in Tamil Nadu by students and the political parties. Further impetus for the bill came after 19-year old Dhanush, a medical seat aspirant, was found dead at his home at Kooliyur village in Salem district on Saturday.

Police sources said the deceased Dhanush was to appear for his third attempt in the national entrance test the next day. Dhanush had cleared his Class 12 exam in 2019 and was preparing for the exam on Sunday. However, he was found lying dead when his parents went to wake him up early in the morning.