Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin on Tuesday pitched for shifting education from the Concurrent List of the Constitution to the State List. Stalin, in his address on the occasion of Independence Day, announced that around 55,000 vacancies would be filled in various government departments. He said former Chief Ministers C N Annadurai and M Karunanidhi advocated the autonomy of states in federal India throughout their lives. Stalin said that all subjects having a direct concern with the people, especially education, should be brought under the State List of the Constitution. He said that only by moving education to the State List of the Constitution, the brutal National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) qualifying examination system can be completely done away with. Stalin on Monday appealed to President Draupadi Murmu to support the state government seeking exemption of Tamil Nadu from the exam in the wake of the suicide of a candidate due to alleged NEET stress and his father’s suicide. Give immediate approval to the bill. Stalin also criticized Governor RN Ravi for his pro-NEET stand. The Constitution (Forty-second Amendment) Act, 1976 transferred the subject ‘Education’ from the State List to the Concurrent List. Stalin said that a nation-state should develop keeping in mind the development of people of different races, languages, religions and cultures. “There can be no greater joy than the spread of a social justice-led Dravidian model of governance to everyone across India,” he said. Veterans including Dr BR Ambedkar and ‘Periyar’ EV Ramasamy Listing the leaders, Stalin said they all wanted an egalitarian India. He said, “We are running such a government in Tamil Nadu. The DMK is committed to the ideals of state autonomy, social justice, equality, self-respect, love for language (mother tongue) and ‘caste rights’. He said the government is also based on such ideals. He said, “The true tribute to the freedom fighters would be building an India that nurtures the lofty ideals of social justice, equality, fraternity, secularism and welfare of the oppressed. Let us protect the freedom through unity that got us freedom. Let’s uproot the forces that sow the seeds of discord. Happy Independence Day to all who love India and proud to be an Indian.
The Chief Minister detailed the welfare schemes of the DMK regime and said, under the fare-free travel scheme for women in government city buses, 50 lakh women travel every day. He said, “So far women have made about 314 crore trips in government buses and have been benefited under this scheme. On an average, each beneficiary is able to save more than Rs 850 per month.” He said that during the last two years, since the DMK assumed power, there has been all-round development in Tamil Nadu. Stalin made several announcements in his address. For the benefit of retired personnel of the Armed Forces, the Chief Minister announced a scheme to skill them to facilitate suitable re-employment opportunities. He said that 10,000 personnel would be trained at a cost of about seven crore rupees and all assistance would be provided till they get suitable employment. Stalin said the monthly pension to the family members of freedom fighters would be increased from Rs 10,000 to Rs 11,000. The breakfast scheme for government school students will be extended to all 31,008 government schools from August 25, benefitting 15.75 lakh students. He said the scheme would be launched at a school in Thirukkuvalai (Tiruvurur) where Karunanidhi studied and Rs 404 crore has been allocated for the scheme for the current financial year.
He announced setting up of a separate welfare board to protect the interests of workers of companies like Ola, Uber, Swiggy and Zomato. He reiterated that a monthly Rs 1,000 assistance scheme for women (Kalaignar Magalir Urimai Thittam) would be launched on Annadurai’s birth anniversary on September 15. Chief Minister Stalin said the Rs one lakh subsidy scheme for women autorickshaw drivers to buy new vehicles would be extended to 500 more beneficiaries. Besides this, he also announced ‘Kalaganaar Centenary Park’ on 6.09 acres of land on Cathedral Road here at an estimated cost of Rs 25 crore. He said, “The 77th year of the Independence Day of the Indian Union has begun. Tamil Nadu is an important part of the Indian Union.” Expressing pride in hoisting the tricolor, Stalin said the DMK regime was second to none in honoring freedom fighters and counting achievements in this regard. Tamil Nadu’s contribution was Rs 6 crore out of the total Rs 25 crore given by all Indian states to the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi during the war. He said the DMK government was then headed by late Chief Minister Karunanidhi. He said the language (mother tongue Tamil ), love for nation and caste is the hallmark of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam. Stalin delivered his Independence Day address from Fort St. George here after unfurling the national flag. This is the third time he is presiding over the Independence Day state function, He first did so in 2021 after his party swept to power in May that year.