The student had moved the Supreme Court seeking an exemption from the test for students like her who had studied under Tamil Nadu’s own education board.
CHENNAI: A 17-year-old Dalit student from Tamil Nadu who asked the Supreme Court not to insist on a
common entrance exam for medical colleges has committed suicide today allegedly after she did not get
admission to a medical college. Superstar Rajinikanth, expected to join politics soon, tweeted about
“My heart goes out to her for all the pain and agony she would have undergone,” said Rajinikanth.
S Anitha, the daughter of a daily wager, scored over 98 per cent in her board exams in Tamil Nadu, but
did not perform well in the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test, commonly referred to as “NEET.”
In April 2016, the Supreme Court ordered that all colleges in India would use NEET to decide
admissions. Tamil Nadu, which has a large number, said that is unfair to its students who are at a
disadvantage while taking NEET, which it alleged is more apt for students who study in CBSE schools.
The state also argued that the exam punishes rural and poor students who cannot afford the private
coaching classes that help prepare for NEET.
Tamil Nadu was refused permission by the Supreme Court to exempt its students from NEET this year. The
centre said if the state government were to issue an ordinance or executive order that would
effectively circumvent NEET and state that the exam is unfair to rural students because it would back
the move. But abruptly, last week, it said the opposite in the Supreme Court, which then ordered Tamil
Nadu to use NEET as its sole criterion for college admissions.
Anita was from a village in Ariyalur district, around 300 kilometres from Chennai.