The DMK and the AIADMK government are engaged in a tug of war to sponsor the fee of students who have secured admissions in private medical/dental colleges under the state government’s 7.5 per cent quota for government-school students.
Expressing concern over the plight of students who were facing financial difficulties to enroll in medical courses despite clearing NEET, the DMK on Saturday (November 21) announced that it will bear the expenses of students who were selected for admission into private medical colleges during the medical counselling that began on Wednesday.
“As per the 7.5 per cent reservation, 227 government school students who cleared NEET have got admission in government schools and the rest of the students have got admission in private medical colleges. Since the students from poor economic backgrounds are unable to pay the fees in private colleges, DMK will bear their entire educational expenditure,” the DMK said in a statement.
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DMK chief MK Stalin assured that the DMK would take legal steps to scrap NEET to ensure that the “medical education dreams of the students studying in government and government-aided schools and those hailing from the poor economic background, backward classes and oppressed communities can be realised.”
Hours after the DMK’s announcement, the state government came forward to foot the bill for the same with Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami issuing orders to create a revolving fund under the Tamil Nadu Medical Services Corporation to facilitate the disbursal of funds to the students.
“We had already made an announcement that post-matric scholarship and other financial aid will be appropriately taken care of,” Palaniswami said.
The yearly tuition fee for government quota seats in private medical colleges ranges from ₹3.8 lakh to ₹4 lakh.
The chief minister, in a statement said the fund will help students avail immediate aid to take care of their college and hostel fee and not wait for scholarship.
On the orders of the government, the Directorate of Medical Education instructed deans of private medical and dental colleges not to deny seats to government school students who are unable to pay fee.
The letter by Dr R Narayananbabu also asked colleges to recall students who were turned away after being unable to pay fees.
Palaniswami denounced the DMK, accusing it of turning the whole affair into a “political drama”, despite knowing that the government would eventually help students from impoverished backgrounds.
The DMK in turn has accused the state government in acting on pressure from the Opposition.
“Why did the government not announce they will pay the fees then? It looks like they are waiting to follow the orders of our leaders,” DMK general secretary Durai Murugan said.
Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit in October gave his assent to the bill which provides 7.5 per cent reservation to government school students in medical and dental colleges.
The three-day counselling for 313 MBBS and 92 dental seats, kept aside for government school students began on Wednesday (November 18).