The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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SFI pocket route to MBBS
- Good-luck note approves of cheating in exam hall

Calcutta, June 18: Becoming a doctor, the SFI way, now does not appear to preclude attempts at cheating during examination.

Keeping “some notes in pockets” has become one of the most important in the seven-step guidelines cooked up by the students’ wing of the CPM to make examinations easier for aspiring doctors at the Bankura Sammilani Medical College.

The printed guidelines, in the form of a “good-luck” message from the “dadas and didis of the Students’ Federation of India Bankura Sammilani Medical College unit” to those appearing for the first MBBS examination, has been circulated among every examinee.

The medical college in Bankura comes within the purview of the University of Calcutta and is going to the examination with Calcutta-based institutions like Medical College, R.G. Kar Medical College, Calcutta National Medical College and Nil Ratan Sircar Medical College.

Students are appearing for the six written papers — two each for biochemistry, physiology and anatomy — in the examination that started in all the colleges on June 13 and ended today. The oral and practical tests are scheduled between June 23 and June 28, said officials.

The SFI-circulated note, said some members of the organisation’s unit at the Bankura college, is more relevant for the written papers. The guidelines, which uses SMS-influenced English “words”, are meant to ensure the students do not forget the essentials while appearing for their first MBBS examination, they said.

The note begins with a one-liner: “U must not forget,” and then tells all examinees to have their admit cards attested and “xerox minimum one copy of the admit card (for safety)” (sic). It then asks examinees to “take some tiffins and own water” (sic) and “proper writing accessories”. For the oral and practical tests, neat and clean aprons are a must, it adds.

Then the penultimate step: essential to keep three (biochemistry, physiology and anatomy) subjects “in the brain”. And the punch-line, in parentheses for emphasis: “Some notes either in brain or in pockets to feel confident.”

An SFI member of the college said from Bankura the “good-luck message” was aimed at giving “tense” first-year doctors-to-be some “light-hearted moments” before their examination. But a section within the unit admitted that “light-hearted moments” should not have seemed like giving licence to using unfair means within the examination hall.

Teachers of the college supported the second viewpoint. Averse to giving their names — life could “become difficult” if they were heard criticising an arm of the ruling party — they agreed that those who became doctors by cheating would not make the profession proud.

“Our image as a responsible students’ organisation may take a beating because of such frivolous activities,” said an SFI state secretariat member. “Besides, being a unit at a medical college, it should have shown restraint.”

State SFI secretary Apurba Chatterjee agreed. “We do not support such activities and will try to find out the student (or students) responsible,” he said.

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