With the Centre planning to promulgate ordinance not to conduct the NEET and thereby allowing the state level entrance examinations, the Union health minister JP Nadda will convene a high level meeting with the health ministers from various states in Delhi on Monday discussing in the details about the NEET.
The state government will appeal to the Centre so that the medical aspirants from the state would be able to write the NEET question paper in Bengali. But the experts in the field of medical admission feel that the state government t should learn from its mistake in 2013 when the NEET was conducted by the Centre and the medical aspirants from West Bengal opting Bengali as a medium of examination had not been able to compete in the national level seats. The students opting Bengalis as a medium only competed for the state quota seats.
Dr AK Maity, an expert in the field said that candidates who will write their question paper in Bengali will not be able to compete in altogether 28,000 medical seats in various Centre owned institutions. They will only be allowed to sit in 85 per cent reserved seats in West Bengal.
There are 15 per cent seats reserved for the AIPMT (4,000 seats), 2000 seats in AIIMS, JIPMER, Banaras Hindu University and 15,000 seats in private medical colleges and around 7,000 seats in private dental colleges.
There are many Bengali medium schools in the state which produce some brilliant students each year who secure their position in All India Institute for Medical Sciences and other Centre owned prestigious institutions. After the introduction of NEET these candidates will not get a chance to compete separately in the Centre owned institutions. If this continues the Bengali medium schools from the state will be crisis in the days to come, said Dr Maity.
The state government therefore must consider all aspects before attending the meeting and the health department officials must keep in mind that no students from the state can be restricted from appearing in the national level medical colleges only because he/she has opted Bengali as a medium of examinations.
The experts also demanded that all the regional languages including Bengali must be treated at par with Hindi and English. Students appearing in Hindi or English can appear in the national level seats.
Minister of state for health Chandrima Bhattacharya may attend the meeting with other senior health officials. There will be a discussion if there is any possibility of the states conducting this year’s Joint Entrance Examinations. The Centre may ask all the states about their plans in this regard. The Supreme Court had ruled that the NEET must be implemented from this year and asked the Centre to conduct the examinations in two phases.
Various others states like Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka have conducted their state level entrance examinations even after the Supreme Court had ordered NEET to be implemented throughout the country from this year.
As their state level entrance examinations were prescheduled the state had conducted the examinations. But West Bengal is not ready to conduct its entrance examination after the Apex Court’s order. On Friday the state government has clearly stated that they will not conduct medical entrance examinations this year.