In a recent move, the TN government has unanimously passed a Bill in the assembly that grants a 7.5 percent reservation to the government school students in the existing reservation of seats for BDS, MBBS, and AYUSH courses. This quota will be applicable with immediate effect and the students clearing the NEET-UG in 2020 would get the benefits straight away.

The Bill was introduced and moved by the state Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami. The house took the unanimous decision to pass the bill almost immediately. Clearing the reservation stand, the government said that the reservation would be available for UG programs in medicine, dentistry, Indian medicine, and homeopathy. However, it would not be applicable for the seats reserved for all India quotas.

As per the assumptions, the Bill will benefit more than 300 students from economically-challenged backgrounds. These students would get the benefits from this year itself. Announcing this Bill, the state Chief Minister said that the AIADMK government took this decision to implement horizontal reservation as recommended by a commission headed by Justice P. Kalaiyarasan, a retired high court judge. Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister said, “The Cabinet accepted the recommendations and was ready to give its approval in the meeting that was held on June 15 and June 16, 2020. This Bill is the final approach to put this reservation quota in practice.” “ The move will help many poor students from rural areas who live a dream of becoming doctors. This Bill would help them to accomplish their dreams.” The Chief Minister added.

Actually, the ‘Quota within Quota’ bill will cover government seats that are applicable in private colleges as well. The Bill seeks to restore the Ordinance propagated by the government. It may be evoked that the State Cabinet had on June 15 accepted a decree, allowing 7.5 percent horizontal reservation in the State government’s quota of MBBS/BDS seats, for government school students. The press had earlier covered the news that the state government has decided to accept the recommendation and pass a bill to help the deserving students in the government schools.

The Cabinet took the decision depending on the recommendation made by a panel, headed by Justice P Kalaiyarasan. The panel considered all the matters related to this reservation quota. The government took the decision immediately after the commission submitted its report to the state government. As per the recommendations, the students who had passed the higher secondary exam after having studied for seven consecutive years in government schools should be eligible to get the benefits of this bill.

The PTI says, “Students that studied in government schools should be entitled to compete for the government seats, apart from those set apart on the privileged ground, along with those who studied in private schools,” said a provision in the legislation, quotes PTI.

Those students that studied from Grade VI to Higher Secondary in any of the government schools, including the ones run by local bodies, and have qualified the NEET, would get the benefit from this Bill. In the report, the commission has noticed that the students in the government schools were placed in a detrimental situation when compared to their counterparts that come from private schools. These include “cognitive breach created by socio-economic aspects such as caste, wealth, gender, parental occupation, and parental education. These psychological and socio-economic hurdles cannot be over-passed by a few months of exhaustive coaching for NEET, even if it is made available for free,” the Bill said.