Reiterating its stiff opposition to the proposal of a Common Entrance Test (CET) to medical courses in the country, the government of Tamil Nadu on Thursday said it viewed the Centre’s move as an intrusion into the States’ rights to administer education.
In an official release, the State government recalled all the efforts made by it to prevent the implementation of CET to both under- and post-graduate courses by the Medical Council of India (MCI).
Chief Minister M Karunandihi wrote to both Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Union Health Minister Gulam Nabi Azad opposing the move.
It was cited in the letters that the State had abolished the entrance test through an act of the legislature and from 2007-08 admission was being given based on the mark-score of students. “The Chief Minister has strongly stressed that this system must be allowed to continue.”
Also, the government of Tamil Nadu has impleaded itself in a case involving the issue in Supreme Court on August 19. When the case came up on September 17, Tamil Nadu government’s counsel opposed the CET move.
Stating that CET would adversely impact the welfare of the Backward and Most Backward classes besides the Scheduled Castes and Tribes, the government said it had drawn the Centre’s attention to the issue.
State Health Minister opposed the move at a meeting of the Central Council of Ministers of Health and Family Welfare. Similarly, the Principal Health Secretary registered the State’s opposition to CET at a meeting convened by the MCI’s Board of Governors.
The Union Health Minister had promised Karunanidhi on August 27 that a final decision on the issue would be taken only after wider consultations at the national level.
“In keeping with their practice of deliberately criticising the government by overlooking all the facts, some had given statements that are far from truth.”