Tamil Nadu reports second NEET-related suicide in 2 days
Another student in Tamil Nadu reportedly ended her life on Monday night over the fear of failing the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET). This is the second NEET-related suicide incident reported from the state in the last two days. The previous death was reported on September 11, when 19-year-old Dhanush died by suicide the night before taking the NEET exam.
According to the police, 17-year-old Kanimozhi had been depressed about her NEET performance and had reportedly told her parents that she may not clear the exam. On Monday evening, Kanimozhi took her own life when her parents had gone to a nearby village. Notably, like Dhanush, Kanimozhi, too, was a bright student: scoring 462/500 in Class X and 562/600 in Class XII.
Reportedly, Kanimozhi is the third suicide due to NEET-related distress in the Ariyalur district. Two students, Vignesh in 2020 and S Anitha in 2017, had died by suicide earlier for the same cause. Notably, all these students had secured excellent marks in Class XII exams.
Meanwhile, the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly Monday passed a bill banning NEET in the state. The Tamil Nadu Admission to Undergraduate Medical Degree Courses Bill was introduced by Chief Minister MK Stalin a day after Dhanush's suicide was reported. The bill seeks exemption for the state's students from appearing for NEET for admission to undergraduate medical degree courses.
Talking about the bill, MK Stalin said it would ensure social justice, uphold equality, and equal opportunity. He stressed the bill would protect vulnerable students from discrimination and bring them to the mainstream of medical and dental education. Citing a high-level committee report, Stalin had said, "NEET has...undermined...diverse societal representation in MBBS and higher medical studies...favoring mainly the affordable and affluent sections of society."
NEET-related suicides have triggered a political blame game in Tamil Nadu as the Opposition AIADMK is holding the ruling DMK responsible for it. Separately, the DMK is targeting the Centre, blaming it for not understanding the difficulties caused by NEET to students. The Centre's "negligence" and "obstinacy" continues to be responsible for the deaths of students by suicide, Stalin had alleged.