Auditorium in Ariyalur Medical College campus named after Anitha, whose death intensified T.N. opposition to NEET


A file photograph of students in T.N. demanding justice for the death of S. Anitha

A file photograph of students in T.N. demanding justice for the death of S. Anitha

Chief Minister M.K. Stalin on Tuesday announced that an auditorium at the Government Ariyalur Medical College campus, would be named after S. Anitha, a meritorious medical aspirant whose death in September 2017 intensified the Tamil Nadu government’s strong opposition to the Union government’s decision to use the National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test (NEET) for undergraduate medical admissions.

The auditorium is being named “in memory of Anitha, who undertook a legal struggle against NEET in the Supreme Court and gave her life,” an official release from the State government, quoted Mr. Stalin as saying. “Her death made the world realise the brutal nature of the NEET”.

The 850 seat-auditorium has been constructed at a cost of ₹22 crore at the new hospital in the Ariyalur Medical College campus, which was to be inaugurated on March 14. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had, in January 2022, inaugurated Ariyalur Medical College in the presence of the Chief Minister, and it has been admitting students since.

Steps against NEET

Listing out the steps being undertaken by the State government against NEET, Mr. Stalin said the Bill adopted by the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly has been forwarded for the President’s assent. “We are continuously insisting that the Union government grant its assent,” the release said.

17-year-old S. Anitha, from a Scheduled Caste community, had scored 1,176 out of 1,200 marks in her Class XII State Board examinations but was unable to join an MBBS course due to the NEET mandate. The daughter of a daily wage labourer, she had impleaded herself as one of the respondents in a case challenging NEET in the Supreme Court. She died by suicide in Ariyalur district on September 1, 2017.

If medical admissions had been held on the basis of Class 12 (plus two) scores as was the norm for the past decade, Anitha, having scored a centum in physics, 199 in chemistry and 194 in biology (she also scored a centum in mathematics), would have secured a cut-off of 196.75 out of 200 and, in all probability, could have bagged a seat in a sought-after government medical college.

(Assistance for overcoming suicidal thoughts is available on the State’s health helpline 104 and Sneha’s suicide prevention helpline 044-24640050).


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