The confusion has cropped up among the candidates as the West Bengal Joint Entrance Examinations (WBJEE) Board, in its prospectus, did not mention on what basis the answer scripts of the candidates will be evaluated.
It may be mentioned here that premier medical institutions like All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER)
are admitting candidates on the basis of percentile of marks obtained by the candidates.
In the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) also, the students will be evaluated on the basis of the percentile of marks. Till the last academic year, the WBJEE Board had been publishing the merit list of the successful candidates on the basis of the percentage of marks.
But this year the candidates remain unaware of whether the percentage of marks or percentile is going to determine their fate in the medical joint entrance examination of the state.
The general category candidates were required to get minimum 50 per cent marks to secure a place in the merit list; whereas for the SC, ST and OBC candidates, the pass marks were 40 per cent. More OBC candidates can find place in the merit list if the evaluation is conducted on the basis of percentile.
The WBJEE Board is conducting the examination on July 20 after a long delay post the Centre’s ordinance in the Parliament, thereby partially overturning the Supreme Court ruling that said that the NEET should be implemented by the all the states.
By virtue of the ordinance, various states and universities are allowed to conduct their own examination only for the current academic year. However, from the next year the single entrance examination NEET will be conducted throughout the country.
After getting a nod from the Centre, the WBJEE Board had announced the medical entrance examination would be held separately. But it did not mention the basis of the selection amongst the successful candidates.
According to experts in the field of medical education, if the candidates are selected on the basis of percentile of marks, more candidates will get a chance to study undergraduate medical courses.
It has been observed over the years that the tribal and physically challenged candidates fail to secure pass marks in the medical entrance examination, as a result of which the seats reserved for these special categories remain vacant.
If these candidates are selected on the basis of percentile of marks, it would be easier for them to secure a place in the merit list.
Another issue that cropped up was that many doctors were often reluctant to serve in Jangalmahal and other rural areas, which prompted Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to announce incentives for MBBS graduates.
It was announced that the doctors serving in the rural areas will be awarded extra marks while going for higher studies.
The Mamata Banerjee government has set up many super-specialty hospitals across the state, as a result of which the requirement of doctors has gone up. If more tribal candidates and other backward classes get an opportunity to become doctors, they would happily serve in rural parts of the state and mitigate the crisis of dearth of doctors in state-run hospitals in rural areas.