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City doc writes to Nadda questioning permit for independent screening test

Kolkata: A city doctor has written to Union Health minister J P Nadda, seeking his intervention after the Centre has allowed Armed Forces Medical College, Pune, to conduct their own screening test to admit candidates to undergraduate medical courses, while the other institutions across the country have to admit candidates on the basis of the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET).
Armed Force Medical College, Pune, had urged the Centre for a special status where they could hold a separate examination among the candidates who clear the NEET. Only those who will clear the NEET will be able to take part in the screening examination.
Whereas, the other medical colleges have to admit candidates who have cleared NEET. They are not permitted to carry out another screening test.
It may be mentioned here that CMC Vellore had also urged the Centre for conducting a similar screening test among the NEET eligible candidates, but their appeal had been rejected. Many of the state governments, including Bengal, had urged the Centre to remain out of the NEET ambit due to some specific reasons but their appeal also went unheard by the Union Health ministry.
Dr A K Maity, a city-based doctor and an expert in the field of medical admission in the state, has written to the Union Health minister on Tuesday, urging his intervention. Dr Maity raised questions on why special facilities would be given to a particular medical college. In his letter, he mentioned that those who are willing to conduct a second stage of screening test among the NEET (UG) qualified students, must be allowed to do so.
Dr Maity also pointed out that the students who clear 12th standard examinations from NIOS or other state open schooling systems, would not be allowed to appear for NEET undergraduate level. Though, in case of NRI students, there is no such restriction. The matter has also been brought to the notice of the Union Health minister.
It can also be mentioned here that the Centre had issued a gazette notification on January 23, fixing the upper age limit for medical aspirants at 25, for the candidates belonging to unreserved category, while for the SC/ST/OBC candidates, the upper age limit has been fixed at 30.
Last year, the upper age limit was cancelled by the Centre, following the Supreme Court order. A writ petition was filed at the Calcutta High Court on February 10, against the Centre's decision to impose upper age limit in NEET for admission in the MBBS and BDS courses.
Premier institutions like the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), the Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER) and Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, enjoy special status by the Centre, where they are allowed to hold their separate entrance examinations. These institutions are out of the ambit of NEET.

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