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Union Health Minister JP Nadda today said the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) was "being implemented" in Tamil Nadu also and asked the state government to consider giving reservation to rural students.
He was responding to reporters' queries on Tamil Nadu seeking an exemption from the eligibility test for medical admissions and said the state government had "full freedom" to provide reservation to rural students in this regard.
Nadda said NEET was being implemented across the country.
"It is being implemented here (Tamil Nadu) also...The Tamil Nadu government feels that those from a rural background will not be able to adjust to the NEET admission process.
"For that, I have told them that for the students of the state board or those from a rural background, they (state government) have full freedom to have their own reservation policy," he said.
As far as providing reservation was concerned, it was up to the state government to take a call as it was a "state policy programme", Nadda said, adding that it can give a "special reservation" to such students.
The Tamil Nadu government and various political parties in the state, including the DMK, are opposed to NEET as a bulk of students appearing in the exam would be from the rural areas who do not have access to coaching classes.
The state had also adopted two bills in February, apparently aimed at circumventing NEET. The bills have been sent for Presidential assent.