Chennai: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa has strongly protested the unilateral decision of the central government to notify National Board of Examination (NBE) to conduct entrance tests for courses in medicine.
In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh dated Sep 30, the text of which was released to the media here Monday, Jayalalithaa said: “The government of Tamil Nadu strongly protests the move to conduct an All India Common Entrance Test for admission to UG/PG (under-graduate/post-graduate) courses in medical colleges and reiterates that Tamil Nadu should be exempted from the test and allowed to continue with its existing system for admission to under-graduate/post-graduate medical seats.”
Expressing surprise and distress at the central government’s unilateral decision, Jayalalithaa said the stay against the common entrance test obtained in the Madras High Court holds good until it is vacated or the writ petition is disposed of.
Referring to her earlier letter last year, Jayalalithaa told Manmohan Singh that the state government had taken a policy decision to abolish the entrance examination for professional courses.
“This was done after detailed examination by an expert committee that found that such common entrance tests put rural students from poor socio-economic backgrounds at a disadvantage due to lack of geographical and financial access to requisite training institutions and materials,” she said.
Jayalalithaa said the state government has reserved 50 percent of its medical post-graduate seats for doctors who have completed three years of rural service with special weightage for those working in hill and tribal areas.
“It will be legally difficult to implement these policy initiatives if a common entrance test is introduced as we would have to fall in line with the regulations of the national test, which may not have such enabling provisions,” she said.