‘Your lives are priceless,’ says Tamil Nadu CM after three NEET aspirants die by suicide
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin on Wednesday urged students in the state to not kill themselves, hours after another National Entrance cum Eligibility Test aspirant died of suicide in Vellore district, The Indian Express reported.The death of Soundarya, 17, a resident of Thalayarampattu village of Katpadi locality in Vellore, is the third incident of a NEET aspirant dying by suicide in four days. On Sunday, a student in Salem district had reportedly killed himself hours before the NEET examination. He had failed to clear the test twice before. On Monday, a girl in Ariyalur district killed herself fearing that she might not clear the exam.The deaths were despite the fact that the Tamil Nadu Assembly passed a Bill on Monday to scrap the entrance exam for admission to undergraduate medical degree courses in the state. In the Vellore incident, Katpadi Deputy Superintendent of Police Palani said that the girl killed herself around 9.30 am after her parents went for work.After appearing for NEET examination in Vellore on Sunday, the girl had told her parents that she would not be able to clear the test. Her parents had consoled her and said that she could perform better in her next attempt, according to The Indian Express.The Katpadi Police have registered a case and sent the body for an autopsy to the Vellore Government Hospital.Hours after the incident came to light, Stalin shared a video message making an appeal to the students.“Your [students] lives are priceless,” the chief minister said, according to The Indian Express. “You are the future of this country. I request you not to take your own life and leave your parents in a state of suffering. All of you should study with the confidence that you can become doctors, and nothing can stop you from achieving your goal.” Stalin said that the central government was “stone hearted” to not back down from its stand on the matter of holding the NEET examination, NDTV reported. Medical admissions in Tamil Nadu used to be based on marks obtained by students in their Class 12 exams before the Centre in 2017 made NEET compulsory across all states and education boards. Questions for the NEET are prepared by the Central Board of Secondary Education based on its own syllabus, which is different from the Tamil Nadu board’s curriculum. Due to this, Tamil Nadu has been opposing the examination, arguing that a common entrance test would harm the prospects of state board students.Scrapping NEET was one of the key promises of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin’s party, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, ahead of the Assembly elections held in April.The Bill passed by the Tamil Nadu Assembly on Monday sought to admit students to medical degree courses based on the marks they got in the Class 12 board examinations.