Tiruchy: A large number of candidates taking the NEET exam for medical/dental colleges admission from the central districts of Tiruchy, Karur, Perambalur, Ariyalur, Pudukkottai, Tiruvarur, and Nagapattinam districts, are thoroughly disappointed over the allocation of exam centers at faraway places like Chennai, Coimbatore, and Ernakulum in neighbouring Kerala.
Only a few of the medical aspirants have been allotted centers closer to their towns like Namakkal and Tiruchy, while many others have to travel far for their respective exam centre including Kochi, said several aspirants.
The allotment of the centres in others states for the students from Tamil Nadu has caused outrage among students, parents and political parties. More-so only Tamil Nadu students have to travel to a different state for the entrance exam while others will appear in their own state. Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami announced that his government would provide 1,500 aspirants with a second-class train ticket as well as Rs 1,000 as one-time assistance.
Several students, particularly from Southern Tamil Nadu, have voiced concerns about making last-minute travel arrangements and stay and its impact on their preparation.
CBSE, in its submission to the apex court, said that it has allotted 1.07 lakh candidates in 170 centres in Tamil Nadu this year as against 82,272 candidates in 149 centres last year. “Considering about 10 percent increase, it was expected that only about 90,000 candidates will apply from Tamil Nadu, even then CBSE made the arrangement of 170 centres wherein 1,07, 480 can appear in the examination,” it said, adding that 25,206 more candidates were allotted centres in the state.
Without giving any details on the total number of candidates applied from Tamil Nadu, the CBSE said that as there was no seat vacant in any of the cities in Tamil Nadu, the candidates have been shifted to nearest city Ernakulam in Kerala. However, it denied allotting any centres in Rajasthan for the candidates from Tamil Nadu unless they had opted for it in their application.
However, the regional CBSE office in Chennai said that 5,371 students from the state will have to write the examination from centres in Ernakulam.
Tamil Nadu political parties including DMK, PMK, Left parties, MDMK and Congress expressed their anguish over the allotment of the centres outside the state. DMK working president MK Stalin condemned both the centre and the state government over the issue and asked the state government to help the students travelling to other states. CPI (M) state secretary K Balakrishnan led a protest outside the Regional CBSE office at Anna Nagar and was arrested along with his party cadres.
Support poured in for the students appearing for the exams outside Tamil Nadu.TTV Dhinakaran’s Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam offered lodging facilities for NEET aspirants who were allotted exam centres in Kerala. CPI (M)’s students wing SFI has opened help desk at bus terminus and railway stations in Kerala to guide the students to reach the examination centre without any hassle.
Last year, 17-year-old S. Anitha’s suicide after failing to clear the entrance test intensified the protests in Tamil Nadu against NEET. Meanwhile, two bills passed by the state government seeking an exemption for Tamil Nadu from the NEET examination are waiting for President of India’s assent, for more than a year.