After a wait of over 40 days, Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit on Friday provided assent to the Bill that will provide 7.5% horizontal reservation to government school students in medical admission. The Governor’s nod comes a day after the Tamil Nadu government exercised its executive powers to provide 7.5% reservation to government school students clearing NEET.
A communique from the Raj Bhavan said, “Tamil Nadu Governor has given assent to the Bill titled ‘Tamil Nadu Admission to Undergraduate Courses in Medicine, Dentistry, Indian Medicine and Homeopathy on preferential basis to the students of Government Schools Bill 2020’. Further it may be noted that the Governor sought the legal opinion of the Solicitor General of India through a letter dated September 26 and the opinion was received on October 29”.
The letter added that the Governor decided to provide assent since he has received the opinion.
The Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta said that the Bill is in consonance with the Constitution of India. He cited Article 14 of the Constitution and the case in Supreme Court Ashok Kumar Thakur vs Union of India (2008) for proving the consonance.
The AIADMK spokesperson Vaigai Chelvan said, “We welcome the move. Tamil Nadu is a state that endorses social equality. The government school and rural students will likely get over 300 seats. The AIADMK led government has paved way for this and I thank the Governor for giving assent. The decision has come at a time when the students were distressed by the NEET exams.”
On Thursday, considering the delay to begin the medical admission, Tamil Nadu government issued an order providing 7.5% horizontal reservation for government school students clearing NEET for medical admissions. The decision was taken by the state government after consulting the legal expert team since the Governor was reportedly delaying the decision for the providing reservation.
The Tamil Nadu Governor earlier last week said that he will require 3-4 weeks for deciding on providing assent to the Bill. The Governor told this to a delegation of five Tamil Nadu Ministers who met him last week. Minister Jayakumar after meeting the Governor said that the Governor will give a positive response soon. Tamil Nadu Leader of Opposition and DMK President MK Stalin also urged the Tamil Nadu Governor to decide on the issue soon since the medical counselling was set to begin.