Though Advocate General Vijay Narayan sought two weeks to respond to the query, the division bench comprising Justice N Kirubakaran and Justice B Pugalendhi directed him to get instructions in two days – by October 16 – as the result of NEET is due on that day.
In his petition, S Ramakrishnan, president, Parent –Teachers Association, Madurai, sought the bench to issue an interim direction for the implementation of the sub-quota reservation of 7.5 per cent of seats in medical colleges in the State from this academic year itself as promised by the Bill. The petitioner also sought a direction to the secretary to Governor to file a status report on the pendency of the assent to the Bill.
When the plea came up for hearing, the bench noted the data revealed that only 3, 5 and 6 students from government schools got admission in the medical colleges for the past three years – 2017-2018, 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 respectively.
“Therefore, if no decision is taken with regard to the reservation for the government school students, definitely less number of students alone would get admission. The interest of the students of the government Schools would be affected,” the bench said.
The court also noted that the bill that was unanimously adopted by the Assembly on September 15 and sent for President’s assent on the very same day has been pending for the past one month without any decision.
“The NEET results are to be published on October 16 and the medical admission process is to start thereafter. Therefore, the interests of students from government schools have to be safeguarded,” Justice Kirubakaran added.
The Bill allows 7.5 per cent horizontal reservation for government school students in medical colleges in the State. The admission would be be granted on a preferential basis to students who have cleared the NEET 2020.
The Bill was introduced based on the findings by the commission led by Justice P Kalaiyarasan, Chairman Official Language Commission, Tamil Nadu, that while 41 per cent of students were from government schools, only an abysmal 0.1 per cent of medical students were from State-run schools after NEET came into force. This used to be 1 per cent before the nation-wide test came into existence.
For instance, only 6 out of 1,56,249 government school students managed to secure MBBS admission after passing NEET in 2019-2020 academic year.