Welcoming the decision of the Chief Ministers of seven states to approach the Supreme Court against the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) and Joint Entrance Exam (JEE), DMK President MK Stalin has urged Chief Ministers of Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Telangana and Kerala to also approach the apex court with a similar plea.
In a letter to the Chief Ministers of the four states, Stalin on Thursday said the candidates of NEET and JEE 2020 are facing difficulties in writing the exams.
"The decision to postpone the June 2020 examination was mainly because the conditions were not conducive to conduct exams and with the hope that normality returns in a few months," Stalin told the Chief Ministers of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Odisha and Kerala.
"Yet, the severity of the crisis worsens across the country. Not just the pandemic, the country has witnessed floods and landslides, which cut off most of the rural and hilly areas from the mainland. In most states, public transport system has not yet resumed," he added.
Stalin also said the railways and air travel cannot be accessed by the majority of candidates and a lot of uncertainty persists in reaching the allotted exam centres.
Stalin cited the decision of the Chief Ministers of West Bengal, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Punjab, Chhattisgarh and Puducherry who are planning to move the Supreme Court against the Centre challenging its decision to conduct NEET and JEE examinations.
"In the light of the severe difficulties explained above, keeping the well-being and future of students in mind, I sincerely request you to join in solidarity with the states and approach the Supreme Court on postponement of NEET and JEE exams for the greater good, as our united stand can help the voices of the students and parents across the country," he added.
On Wednesday the Chief Ministers of seven states ruled by non-BJP parties decided to file a review petition in the apex court against the central government's decision to hold the NEET and Joint Entrance Exam (JEE) in September this year.
"The central government which has failed to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the country is insistent on holding the entrance exams," Stalin said in a separate statement.
He said the whole nation welcomes the decision of the Chief Ministers of the seven states.
Pointing out that the DMK is for scrapping the NEET exam, Stalin said the AIADMK government in Tamil Nadu should approach the apex court if it truly opposes the exam.
Not only the opposition parties, even the ruling AIADMK is opposed to holding the exams and has demanded scrapping them, he said.
In a letter to Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, Tamil Nadu Health Minister C Vijayabaskar on Wednesday said holding the entrance exams at this time will be putting the students at the risk of coronavirus infection.
He said admissions to medical colleges could be based on the marks secured by the students in 12th standard.
The Tamil Nadu government has been expressing its opposition to NEET since the beginning. The state had passed two legislations against the entrance exams but the Centre did not give its nod.
In June, the government decided to promulgate an ordinance to provide 10 per cent horizontal quota for students who studied in state government schools and have cleared NEET.
Opposition parties point out that the NEET questions are not based on state board school syllabus but on Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) stream thereby putting state board students at a great disadvantage.
There were also a couple of suicides by students in Tamil Nadu over not clearing the NEET exam though they had good scores in their 12th standard exams.
Political leaders also point out that the number of medical colleges in the state is more which were built on taxes paid by the people of the state.
The NEET enables students from other states to get admission in Tamil Nadu colleges as their own home states had failed in building the necessary medical infrastructure.
The BJP on its part pointed fingers at the earlier UPA government at the Centre for bringing NEET in the first place.
The opposition to NEET further intensified after the menace of hiring proxies to write the entrance test came up last year and Stalin had said not only brokers in Tamil Nadu but also brokers in other states are involved in such crimes.