MEDICAL COLLEGE aspirants in the state who had appeared for the National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test (NEET) – 2017 have decided to hold a bigger protest to demand re-examination, alleging that Bengali question paper of NEET was tougher than English and Hindi. Hundreds of students on Monday staged a protest inside the campus of Swastha Bhavan in Kolkata and submitted a memorandum to the Director of Medical Education. They alleged that “uniformity” was not maintained in the question papers. “This is just the beginning. We will continue our protest till we are heard,” said a medical aspirant.
Carrying posters that read ‘We want re-NEET’, aspirants claimed that the question paper in Bengali was not the translation of the English question papers. It was a completely different set of question paper, they alleged.
“The very purpose of NEET examination wasn’t maintained. NEET was introduced with a purpose of ‘one nation one examination’. This was not maintained at all. The question paper in the regional language, for example, Bengali was totally different from the one in English and Hindi. The difficulty level was also higher in Bengali paper. It was not just translation but a different question paper. We want government to intervene and re-conduct the examination,” Wasim Akram, a BDS student of North Bengal Medical college, who had appeared for NEET to pursue MBBS, told The Indian Express.
NEET was conducted by the CBSE on May 7 across the country for admission to MBBS/BDS courses. “At least five questions had major translation errors. How do you expect candidate to read both sets of question papers to understand the paper. In such a competitive exam, each second is important and when you say it is a common entrance exam, uniformity must be maintained,” Deep Chakraborty, another NEET candidate, said.
The students said that the government’s claim of ‘one nation one test’ was just a farce. “We will fight against it. We have also heard about massive corruption surrounding this examination. We want judicial enquiry. The state government must intervene. State Education Minister Partho Chatterjee had openly talked about it. Since then no action has been taken. We want state government to act and not just talk,” State President All India DSO Mridul Sarkar told The Indian Express.
After the examination on May 7, Chatterjee had also alleged that the questions set in Bengali were different and tougher from those in English. The minister also accused the Centre of preventing students from the state achieve a better all-India rank. “This is a new strategy of the Central government to deprive West Bengal in the national level,” he had said.
Contacted, Director of Medical Education Debashish Bhattacharya said, “We have received a deputation from the students. I will go through their demands. We will be discussing it with the higher authorities and chalk out ways to find out a solution.” This year, NEET was held in 10 languages — English, Hindi, Bengali, Tamil, Telegu, Marathi, Assamese, Gujarati, Oriya and Kannada.
More than 50,000 students from the state had appeared for the medical exam from various centers in Durgapur, Howrah, Kolkata, Kharagpur and Siliguri. Total number of questions were 180.
NEET is conducted for admissions to 95,000 seats (65,000 MBBS & 25,000 BDS) in government medical colleges, private medical colleges and deemed universities.