The Medical Education Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021, provides a choice to the states to opt out of the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) and National Exit Test (NExT) for medical students.
Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) Rajya Sabha MP P Wilson, on Monday, August 14, tabled a private member’s Bill that gives a choice to the states to opt out of the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) and National Exit Test (NExT) for medical students. The Bill titled Medical Education Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021 also seeks to amend the Dentists Act, 1948, to exempt states seeking to opt out of the uniform entrance examination.
The Bill proposes to bring in a new section after Section 14 (3) of the National Medical Commission Act, 2019, stating, “The provisions of this section shall not apply, in relation to the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test, at the undergraduate level or postgraduate or super-speciality level in respect of state government seats unless such state has opted for such National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test.” It also proposes to insert another section to grant exemption from NExt.
In its statement of objects and reasons, the Bill states that “NEET not only gives students studying in the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) schools an upper hand, but also greatly disadvantages the economically weaker sections of the society.” It points out three grounds based on which it is opposed by several states in India:
> The examination completely decimates the right of the state to regulate medical education;
> The test is largely based on CBSE syllabus thereby placing students from other streams of education at an obvious disadvantage;
> It requires extra coaching at considerable cost apart from ordinary school education and not everybody is able to afford the same.
It also states that the objections are based on statistics and points out that there is a reduction in the number of students from the state boards who have applied for NEET in the previous years.