Govt school students in TN to get 7.5% reservation for college admissions

Stalin in assemblyTamilnadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin addressing the State legislative assembly. Image source: TN Govt website

The bill was passed unanimously in the budget session of the assembly

By Sai Charan

The Tamilnadu Legislative Assembly has adopted a bill which seeks to provide 7.5 % reservation in admissions to State government school students for various undergraduate courses, on Thursday.

Reservation in professional courses includes agriculture, engineering, veterinary, fisheries, law and other professional programmes offered in universities, private colleges, government-aided and government colleges.

MK Stalin

Students who have studied in state government schools from Class 6 to 12 are eligible to avail this reservation. Introducing and speaking on the bill Chief Minister M.K. Stalin said that this affirmative action is to bring real equality between students who studied in government schools and in private schools.

According to The Hindu the Statement of Objects and Reasons of the bill stated “Though education is important to all students for their enrichment in knowledge and to lead a reasonable and meaningful life, the students from Government schools forming a distinct class require more attention of the State for preferential treatment in higher education compared to the students of private schools, who are provided with better environment, different and conducive atmosphere in pursuing their education”.

Also Read: TN to give 7.5% quota for State govt. school students in professional courses

This bill was introduced based on a report by Retired Judge D Murugesan committee. On 15th June 2021 the DMK Government constituted this committee to look into the poor representation of government school students in professional courses. The committee included officials from the higher education ministry of the state, bureaucrats and educational experts.

The committee submitted its report on 21st June 2021 and recommended that reservation of not less than 10% can be provided for government school students in professional courses. However the government decided to implement 7.5% reservation considering various social-economic factors.

Passing of the bill

After the introduction of the bill, CM Stalin requested all the parties in the assembly to vote in favour of the bill. The bill was adopted unanimously by the assembly. Speaking on the bill, Leader of Opposition Edappadi K Palaniswami welcomed the government’s move and said that, as the principle opposition party in the assembly AIADMK will work constructively with the government in issues related to larger public interest.

A Clarification was made by Higher Education Minister K Ponmudi, that the reservation for government school students would not be applicable in deemed universities.

Last year, the previous AIADMK government had introduced a 7.5% horizontal reservation to government school students who cleared the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for admission to undergraduate medical courses including MBBS.

Walkout

The assembly also passed the demand for grants on the budget related to school and higher education ministries. AIADMK members staged a walkout of the assembly related to the issue of naming a higher education institute.

The previous AIADMK government named a college in Villupuram district in the memory of former Tamilnadu CM and AIADMK supremo J.Jayalaithaa. The new DMK government led by Stalin has dropped her name and the college was made to function as an affiliated institution under Annamalai University, Chidambaram.

Also watch: Edappadi K Palanisami press meet