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Rediff.com  » News » 19-yr-old's suicide for failing to clear NEET sparks political slugfest in TN

19-yr-old's suicide for failing to clear NEET sparks political slugfest in TN

June 05, 2018 16:41 IST

IMAGE: People gather outside Prateebha's house in Senji town of Villupuram district on Tuesday. Photograph: ANI

A 19-year-old daughter of an agricultural labourer allegedly committed suicide in Senji town of Villupuram district as she was unable to clear the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test in her second attempt, the police said.

The Central Board of Secondary Education on Monday declared the results for NEET-- the entrance examination for admission to medical and dental colleges across the country.

Soon after that, Prateebha consumed poison and then stated vomiting, after which her family rushed her to a hospital.

A doctor suggested that she be taken to their headquarters hospital for better treatment. At 9 pm on Monday she was declared dead, the police said.

 

She left behind a note, saying that she dreamt of becoming a doctor but the questions in NEET were too difficult for her to even understand, they said.

According to police, the girl had secured 490 marks out of 500 in her class 10 exam and 1,125 marks out of 1,200 in the class 12.

The girl decided to appear for NEET this year for the second time as her family could not afford medical education in a private college.

However she secured only 39 marks out of 700.

The alleged suicide also echoed in the Tamil Nadu assembly on Tuesday with the opposition Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam questioning the stand of the government on the central exam.

Last year, a Dalit girl, Anitha, from Ariyalur, had committed suicide after scoring low marks in NEET, resulting in widespread political outrage.

A total of 13.36 lakh candidates had registered for this year's NEET exam. However, 12.69 lakh candidates appeared for the test, of whom, 7.14 lakh cleared it.

Leader of Opposition M K Stalin lamented the death of Prateebha and Anitha.

Stalin later led a walkout of his party MLAs, unconvinced over the reply given by Health and Family Welfare Minister C Vijayabaskar on the issue.

Asserting the government's stand on NEET was 'well-known', Vijayabaskar recalled the state's efforts to secure an exemption for Tamil Nadu from the NEET, even as the assembly had adopted two resolutions last year in this regard.

He recalled the various representations made to the central government, including to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the matter.
Expressing regret over the death of Prateebha, he however, said the Supreme Court order was binding on the state government, and listed the state's efforts to prepare students for such competitive exams.

He said the deceased girl had cleared Class XII exams in 2016-'17 and received admission in a Siddha course but had appeared for this year's NEET again, but scored less marks, he said.

Stalin, who along with ally Congress moved a special call attention on the death of Pratheebha, sought to know what was the status of the two resolutions sent to the Centre for the President's nod seeking exemption for Tamil Nadu from NEET, with the minister saying the Supreme Court had ruled against the exemption after some students moved the top court over the matter.

He also took a dig at the Congress, saying its leader P Chidambaram's wife Nalini had argued in favour of the students against exemption, drawing protest from the opposition party.

He also accused the previous Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government of ‘sowing the seeds’ for NEET exam, saying DMK was also part of that coalition.

Stalin said Vijayabaskar's response ‘is not satisfactory’ and announced staging a walkout, with his colleagues in joining him.

After some time, the Congress also walked out.

Later, School Education Minister K A Sengottaiyan said the government's efforts in preparing students for competitive exams like NEET have borne results, with more number of aspirants from government and aided schools in Tamil Nadu clearing the medical entrance this year.

Meanwhile, actor Rajinikanth said the death of Prateebha was 'pitiable' and called for putting an end to such incidents, adding, such deaths should not continue.

T Velmurugan-led Tamizhaga Vazvurimai Katchi expressed concern over the death of both Prateebha and Anitha over the NEET issue.

Aam Aadmi Party state unit Convenor S A N Vaseegaran demanded that the Palaniswami government step down ‘taking responsibility for the death of Prateebha and Anita’.

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