Annamalai challenges DMK’s anti-NEET narrative 

Tamil Nadu BJP president K Annamalai has strongly criticized the DMK’s stance against the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), asserting that a closer examination of statistics on government school students’ admissions to government medical colleges post-NEET would debunk the alleged false narrative set by the ruling party.
Annamalai referred to perceived flaws in the Justice A K Rajan committee report, which the BJP has frequently highlighted. He avoided giving credit to the previous AIADMK government, led by Edappadi K Palaniswami, for implementing a 7.5% reservation for government school students in MBBS admissions. Instead, he attributed the increase in enrolment of rural and government school students to government medical colleges to recommendations from the BJP-led union government following NEET’s introduction.
The DMK-appointed committee, according to Annamalai, has been reluctant to disclose details regarding the admission of government school students to government medical colleges before NEET was implemented. Annamalai’s statement on his social media platform ‘X’ (formerly Twitter) emphasized that revealing these details would expose the DMK’s alleged misinformation campaign against NEET.
A noteworthy point from Annamalai’s statistics-laden message is the significant fluctuation in the number of government school students admitted to government medical colleges over the years. Before NEET, the numbers were reportedly in the high 30s. However, following NEET’s implementation, the admissions dropped dramatically to just three or six per year. It wasn’t until the EPS administration’s 7.5% reservation policy was enacted for the 2020-21 academic year that these numbers saw a marked improvement.
Annamalai’s assertions suggest that the BJP believes the NEET examination, coupled with strategic policy recommendations, can positively impact the enrolment of students from rural and government school backgrounds into medical colleges. This contrasts with the DMK’s criticism that NEET undermines the prospects of such students.
The debate over NEET in Tamil Nadu continues to be a contentious issue, with significant political and social ramifications. Annamalai’s challenge to the DMK highlights the ongoing tussle between state and central policies, and their impact on educational opportunities for students from diverse backgrounds.