A section of doctors and the Opposition are up in arms against the vice-chancellor (V-C) of West Bengal University of Health Sciences (WBUHS), which is set to conduct an admission test for MD degree course on February 1.
The reason: Manasweta, daughter of V-C Bhabotosh Biswas, is appearing for the test. The doctors also claim that this year, for the first time, admission test for the MD course — till now restricted to only students who have completed MBBS from state medical colleges — has been thrown open to students who have done MBBS from medical colleges in other states.
Manasweta has completed her MBBS from a private medical college in Bangalore. Incidentally, son of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s personal physician Subrata Moitra, who is also taking the test, has completed his MBBS from Manipal. This year, around 5,000 students will sit for the test.
“When your son or daughter is appearing for the examination, you should not be in any way attached to the examination process. If you are at the helm of affairs, there is so much scope for manipulation. So, to avoid all controversies, Dr Biswas should have at least taken leave until the examination process is over,” said a doctor in Kolkata.
He added: “There is an obvious conflict of interest. Moreover, everybody can understand that to facilitate the wards of doctors having allegiance to the ruling party, the MD admission test this year has been thrown open to students from colleges in other states as well.”
Biswas, an eminent cardio-thorasic surgeon in Kolkata — involved in the setting up of the cardio-thorasic unit at R G Kar Government Medical College and Hospital — was made the V-C around eight months ago by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Mamata is also in charge of the health department.
Gautam Mukhopadhyay, president of pro-left Association of Health Service Doctors, said: “While the ward of a V-C has every right to take an examination, his or her father should not be in any case involved in the examination process. But we don’t know who will ensure that in this case.”
Former health minister in the Left Front government, Surya Kanta Mishra — the current Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly — said the V-C should not be in a position to influence the examination process. “This government is known for flouting all norms and rules. I hope the V-C keeps in mind the dignity of his chair,’’ he said.
When contacted, the V-C denied all allegations. “I have told to the government that I will not in any way be associated with the examination process. There is no question of me taking leave. If the examination has been thrown open to outside students, it was done by the state government and not me,’’ Biswas said.
Principal Secretary (Health and Family Welfare) Moloy Dey came out in V-C’s support. “The V-C has declared in writing that he had fully dissociated himself from the admission test. So, we don’t see anything wrong,’’ Dey said.