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Early MBBS exam anger
- Students voice course completion concern

Calcutta, Aug. 24: About 200 medical students thronged Calcutta University’s College Street campus today and put up a protest near the vice-chancellor’s office against the decision to advance the second MBBS examination by three months.

A couple of days ago, the students were told the second examination covering the third, fourth and fifth semesters of the MBBS course would be held from November 9, and not in February 2005 as it was scheduled.

After the fifth semester, two more examinations are held covering the remaining four semesters before the MBBS course can be completed.

Calcutta University authorities said they were preponing the examination to enable the MBBS students to write the all India examinations for higher studies at places like PGI Chandigarh or the All India Institute of Medical Sciences.

“Usually the all India level examinations clash with the final MBBS examination, which becomes a problem for our students,” said an official.

But the students argued that holding the second MBBS examination without finishing the course would only make matters worse for them. The third, fourth and fifth semester examination covers subjects like pathology, pharmacology, microbiology and forensic science.

“The MCI (Medical Council of India) guideline clearly says that the second MBBS examination can only be held after the fifth semester course is completed in 120 days starting August 23 this year. According to the norms, the exams can only be held in February but the authorities do not seem to be worried about it,” said a student of Calcutta Medical College and Hospital who had earlier met senior university officials to persuade them to change their mind.

The students argued that instead of such ad hoc measures, the government should reschedule the entire session to ensure that the MBBS examination does not clash with other all India tests.

“In any case, the AIIMS exams are held twice a year and, therefore, an MBBS passout does get a chance to appear for it,” another student claimed.

But with the university authorities remaining adamant, the students decided to meet vice-chancellor Ashis Banerjee. When he refused, the agitated students put up a demonstration outside his office.

Later, the students held an emergency meeting and decided to appeal to the Medical Council of India against the university’s stand.

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