NEW DELHI: Amid the NEET-NET paper leaks row that has affected tens of thousands of students, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to consider giving states “freedom to select medical students through Joint Entrance Examination”.
In a letter to the PM, Banerjee said “allegations of paper leak, taking bribes by certain people and the officials involved in the conduct of the examinations” are some serious issues that require “a thorough, clean and impartial probe.
She added that such leaks “jeopardise the career and aspirations of lakhs and lakhs of students who look forward to get admission into these medical courses“.
The CM said that such incidents of leaks “not only compromise the quality of medical education in the country but adversely affect the quality of medical facilities/treatment in the country”.
Banerjee then went on to say that before 2017, the States were allowed to conduct their own entrance examinations and the Centre also used to conduct its own examinations for admission into medical courses.
“This system was functioning smoothly and without much problems. This was better attuned to the regional curricula and educational standards. The state government usually spends more than Rs 50 lakh per doctor on education and internship. Therefore, the state should be given freedom to select medical students through Joint Entrance Examination,” she said.
The CM said that the decentralised system was later changed to a unitary and centralised system of examination (NEET) so as to take “complete control of all the admissions in the country in the medical courses without any involvement of the state sovernments. This is completely unacceptable and violates the true spirits of the federal structure of the country”.
“The present system has led to massive corruption which benefits only the rich who can afford to pay, while the meritorious students belonging to the poor and middle class suffer and are the biggest victims,” she added.
The CM urged PM Modi to take immediate steps to “restore the previous system of conducting this examination by the state governments and abolish the NEET examination … this will help restore normalcy and confidence of the aspirant students in the system”.