Mamata writes to PM Modi, seeks State autonomy in medical admissions amidst NEET row

The TMC supremo noted that such incidents of leaks "not only compromise the quality of medical education in the country but adversely affect the quality of medical facilities and treatment."
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata
West Bengal Chief Minister MamataPhoto | PTI

KOLKATA: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, requesting him to consider giving states the "freedom to select medical students through Joint Entrance Examination."

The letter was written amidst the NEET-NET paper leaks row that has affected thousands of students.

In her letter to the Prime Minister, 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."

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She added that such leaks "jeopardise the career and aspirations of lakhs and lakhs of students who look forward to getting admission into these medical courses."

The Chief Minister noted that such incidents of leaks "not only compromise the quality of medical education in the country but adversely affect the quality of medical facilities and treatment."

Banerjee highlighted that before 2017, states were allowed to conduct their own entrance examinations, while the Centre also conducted its own examinations for admission into medical courses.

"This system was functioning smoothly and without many problems. It 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 the freedom to select medical students through Joint Entrance Examination," she said.

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The letter mentioned that the decentralised system was later changed to a unitary and centralised system of examination (NEET) to take "complete control of all the admissions in the country in the medical courses without any involvement of the state governments. This is completely unacceptable and violates the true spirit 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 Chief Minister 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."

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