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Death Stirs A Nervous Afterthought

A medical aspirant in Tamil Nadu fails test, kills self. Unrest forces rulers to address the broader issue.

Death Stirs A Nervous Afterthought
RAGE | Photograph by PTI
Death Stirs A Nervous Afterthought
outlookindia.com
2017-09-11T14:07:02+05:30

She could have been a poster girl of the medical profession. Instead, S. Anitha ended up as the face of protests against the new eligibility test. The village teenager’s dream of becoming a doctor was extinguished by her poor scores at NEET—the country’s sole qualifying exam for MBBS. The girl from a poor family in east-­central Tamil Nadu found suicide as the sole way out of her distress.

But for NEET, or the National Eligibility and Entrance Test brought back in April 2016 three years after it was declared ill­egal, Anitha would have easily walked into a government medical college of her choice. The daughter of a daily-wage earner from backward Ariyalur district had top-notch plus-two marks—1,176 out of 1,200—that was sufficient under the old system to gain entry into professional courses. Being a Dalit also meant a rese­rved seat at concessional fee waiting.

Instead, NEET tripped the girl from Kuzhumur in Sendurai taluk that has 62 per cent literacy. The Supreme Court had refused to exempt Tamil Nadu for one more year...

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