Unsurprising verdict: on TN's quota for medical students

Tamil Nadu’s quota for medical students was unlikely to survive judicial scrutiny anyway

The Madras High Court verdict striking down the Tamil Nadu government order that had earmarked 85% of seats in undergraduate medical and dental courses for students from the State Board is no surprise at all. Once it was laid down by law as well as by the Supreme Court that the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test will be the sole basis for admission to medical courses, it was unlikely that any court would have allowed a classification of students based on the stream through which they passed their higher secondary examinations. Tamil Nadu had abolished entrance tests in 2006, and since then has been admitting students based on their marks in the qualifying school examination. The only way out for the State was to get its legislation for an exemption from NEET approved by the President. In the absence of presidential assent for its Bills, it was forced to bring in reservation for State Board students through an executive order, but could not defend it in court. The State government will have to shoulder the blame for the confusion over its admission policy this year, as well as the tension it has caused to students. It ought not to have given the impression to students that presidential assent to its Bills was imminent and that NEET would not be the basis for admission this year. Last year it managed to convince the Centre to amend the law for a one-time exemption for undergraduate courses, but it did not utilise the time to prepare students to master the demanding NEET syllabus.

However, the fact that the State government failed to upgrade its educational standards does not mean Tamil Nadu’s apprehensions about NEET do not merit consideration. The fear that NEET would be insurmountable for students from rural and underprivileged backgrounds and those who cannot afford coaching centres is real. So too is the concern that the government may not get committed doctors to serve in rural areas if most of the seats are cornered by CBSE students. According to the government, if a NEET-based merit list is drawn up, 72% of medical seats in government colleges and government quota seats in private colleges would go to CBSE school students. Tamil Nadu is able to run its network of hospitals efficiently mainly because of a recruitment policy that gives weightage to service candidates in post-graduate medical admissions. NEET may be an answer to rampant commercialisation of medical education, but it should not be at the cost of the government’s socio-economic goals. In a country with regional, economic and linguistic disparities, uniformity is no virtue, especially when it is thrust on unwilling States. The political leadership at the Centre as well as in the States would do well to work together to evolve a flexible admission policy that gives some leeway to the States and meets the triple goals of fairness, transparency and freedom from exploitation in admissions. Source : THE HINDU


1) Leeway(Noun) (  स्वतंत्रता ) : lee-wey
Meaning - the amount of freedom to move or act that is available.
Synonyms - freedom, liberty, licence
Antonyms -restraint , limitation
Example -My boss grants me leeway to make my own decisions.

2) Insurmountable (Adjective) (दुर्गम):  in-ser-moun-tuh-bull
Meaning - incapable of being passed over or overcome
Synonyms -unconquerable, unassailable, unbeatable.
Antonyms - attainable, surmountable, possible
Example -  The obstacles which we imagine in our mind are insurmountable. Real ones aren't.
3) Earmark (Verb) (नामांकन, आवंटित):  eer-mahrk
Meaning -  to designate something for a particular purpose
Synonyms -   designate, assign, reserve.
Antonyms - discharge, emulate
Example - Politicians promised to earmark some of the budgets for the starting of new social programs.

4) Rampant (Adjective) (अनियंत्रित):  ram-punt
Meaning - not restrained
Synonyms -  uncontrolled, unrestrained, widespread.
Antonyms- controlled, limited, restrained
Example -Sadly, the Internet has made it easier for the rampant spread of false information.

5)Thrust (Noun) (जोर):   thruhst
Meaning -  to force something in a certain direction
Synonyms -  force, push pressure.
Antonyms - accusation, Prelude , suggestion
Example - Sometimes, the wind will be so strong that it will thrust open an unlocked door to a building or house.

6) Verdict  (Noun) (निर्णय)  :    vur-dikt
Meaning - a decision made after much consideration
Synonyms articulate, fluent, expressive
Antonyms -dull, dumb, speechless
Example - In accordance with the verdict of all five panelists, Priyanka was crowned the Miss World champion.
7) Assent  (Noun) (अनुमति): uh-sent
Meaning - to agree to something especially after thoughtful consideration
Synonyms -   approval, consent, endorsement.
Antonyms - dissent, differ, reject
Example - Since this contract is written in your favor completely , I see no reason to assent to the terms!

8) Apprehension (noun) (डर): ap-ri-hen-shun
Meaning - worried that something bad may happen
Synonyms - worry, concern, disquiet/unease.
Antonyms -  confidence , calmness, serenity
Example -The thought of moving to a new city fills me with apprehension.

9) Lay down (phrasal verb)(  निर्धारित करना):
Meaning -   to direct toward a target, to set up 
Synonyms - formulate, stipulate, frame.
Antonyms -  destroy , eliminate , annihilate
Example -The Companies Act lays down a set of minimum requirements.

10) Strike down (phrasal verb) ( रद्द करना):
Meaning - to make something ineffective, to decide that a law or rule is illegal and should be abolished.
Synonyms -abolish, annul, nullify 
Antonyms - support, continue, promote
Example -The Supreme Court today struck down a law that prevents criminals from profiting from books or movies about their crimes. 

11) Outrageous  (Adjective)  -  चौंका देने वाला
Meaning - very bold and unusual and rather shocking
Synonyms - startling, striking, ostentatious, brash, unspeakable, shocking
Antonyms -  Ordinary, inconspicuous, acceptable, justifiable, reasonable 
Example (English) -Roger Federer's outrageous Wimbledon win marks his place in tennis and sporting history.
Example (Hindi) - रोजर फेडरर की चौंका देने वाली विंबलडन जीत टेनिस और खेल इतिहास में अपनी जगह बनाती है।

Assume the article above as Reading Comprehension and try to answer the following questions-
  • What may be an answer to the rampant commercialization of medical education according to the passage given ?
  • What was the only way for admitting students after Tamilnadu had abolished entrance tests in 2006?
On the basis of article we have written below some words. Try to make sentences with these words in the comment section which will be reviewed by us.
  • Imminent
  • Virtue
  • Disparity
  • Exploitation

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