The move will benefit over 300 poor students each year and will be implemented from this year.
Prime Minister K Palaniswami, who piloted the bill, said the AIADMK government had made a political decision to implement this horizontal reservation on the recommendation of a commission headed by retired Judge P Kalaiyarasan.
“The cabinet gave its approval at the June 15 and July 14 meetings and the bill was tabled accordingly,” Palaniswmi said, adding that the move would help many rural and poor students achieve their dreams of becoming doctors to realize.
The reservation would be available for undergraduate degrees in Medicine, Dentistry, Indian Medicine, and Homeopathy, but would not apply to places reserved for all India quotas.
Students who have studied in state schools also have the right to apply for government seats that are not preferred, as well as those who have studied in private schools, a statutory provision states.
Those students who have studied in state schools, including those run by local authorities, from grade VI to upper secondary and qualified the NEET would benefit from the legislation.
In its report, the Commission found that public school students were placed in a disadvantageous position compared to their private school counterparts for a number of reasons.
These include “cognitive gaps created by socio-economic factors such as caste, wealth, parental employment, parental education, and gender, and these psychological and socio-economic barriers cannot be bridged by a few months of intensive NEET coaching, even if provided free of charge be, “it said.
The bill was passed unanimously by voting, said spokesman P Dhanapal.