Chennai: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa Monday strongly opposed an All India Common Entrance Test for admission to Under Graduates and Post Graduates courses in medical colleges, saying such a move would interfere with the State`s rights and create problems in implementing the reservation policy.
In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, she said that despite the State`s protest, the Centre has notified the National Board of Examination for conducting the National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test for PG courses and had gone ahead issuing a public notice for MD/MS/PG diploma courses for the 2013 session.
She said the Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare had assured states they would be consulted and their views considered before evolving any policy with regard to conduct of an All India Common Entrance Test.
The Tamil Nadu government had also given its views specifically stating that this Test would "interfere with the State Government`s rights in administrating the education system and would create problems in implementing the reservation policy followed uniquely in our State", she said.
Even after repeated requests by this public notice, it was now clear that the Centre has not considered the case and has gone ahead with the decision to implement the Common Entrance Test, she said and added that Tamil Nadu should be exempted from the test and allowed to continue with its existing system for admission to UG/PG medical seats.
"We are surprised and distressed by this unilateral decision" of the Centre which has been taken without taking into account the State`s protest and in spite of the stay against the Common Entrance Test in Madras High Court, which holds good until it was vacated or till the writ petition was disposed of," Jayalalithaa said.
She said the state government has already taken a policy decision to abolish the entrance examination for professional courses.
This was done after detailed examination by an Expert Committee which found such Tests put rural students from poor socio-economic backgrounds at a disadvantage due to lack of geographical and financial access to requisite training institutions and materials, she said.
Jayalalithaa said the state government has reserved 50 per cent of its medical PG seats for doctors who have completed three years of rural service with special weightage for those working in hilly and tribal areas and serve the state for a minimum period.
"It will be legally difficult to implement these policy initiatives if a Common Entrance Test is introduced as we would have to fall in line with the regulations of the National Test, which may not have such enabling provisions," she added.