A toll-free helpline number ‘104’ has been launched by Tamil Nadu Government to help students deal with the pressure of the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for medical course admission. The counselling helpline was introduced on September 15 after several reports of NEET aspirants committing suicide surfaced from various parts of the state.
In Chennai alone, a dedicated team of 40 psychiatrists and psychologists has been appointed to help students deal with the stress of examination results. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin urged students not to take any hasty decisions and said they should seek professional help when needed. The CM also asked parents to be more considerate to their children and said they should focus on instilling self-confidence in students instead of burdening them with any kind of expectation pressure
The state’s health department collected data of about the 1.11 lakh students who had appeared for NEET this year and has been reaching out to them for counselling over the phone. Since the conclusion of NEET on September 12, three Tamil Nadu students have killed themselves by suicide due to the stress of the entrance examination.
CM Stalin vowed to abolish NEET and said that there will be no compromise in the legal struggle to fully remove it. The Tamil Nadu state assembly had passed a bill seeking a permanent exemption to the state’s students from appearing in NEET. The bill stated that admission to undergraduate medical courses in Tamil Nadu would be given on the basis of marks obtained in class 12.
However, the implementation of the bill’s provision would require still require a nod from the president and even if it gets a nod from the president, the parliament holds the power to amend or repeal it.
The govt also released “The Impact of NEET on Medical Admissions in Tamil Nadu” report that “the health care system of Tamil Nadu will be very badly affected" if the medical entrance continues adding that NEET is skewed towards students from affluent families and rural children are left-back.