The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Battle brews on MBBS exams
- CM points to China, new students look up to SC

Calcutta, Dec. 23: The government landed in a new muddle today with the just-admitted students at SSKM and Midnapore medical colleges deciding to move the Supreme Court and those ousted refusing to accept the chief minister's proposal to study abroad.

Reeling under the mess created after ousted NRI-quota students from both colleges went on hunger strike, the chief minister today offered them a fresh proposal to study in Nepal, China or Russia.

Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee said this evening: 'Not just Nepal, we have proposals from colleges in China and Russia as well, though they will be expensive. The students have been told about it. Those wanting to take up medical courses there can go ahead ' we will act as facilitators.'

He added that his government would still recommend the proposed bio-medical engineering course under the University of Technology. 'The course is being taught at IIT Kharagpur for a long time. There are a lot of possibilities in the field,' he added.

Still observing their fast, the students who had obtained admission to the medical colleges last year after agreeing to pay enhanced fees of about Rs 9 lakh but were ousted by the Supreme Court, refused to buy the idea. 'It's like ending up on a ship after being trained as a pilot,' one of them said.

'We've not been officially notified about opportunities in Russia and China, but the Nepal proposal is absurd because the college is barely two years old and not recognised,' said Gargi Bhattacharya.

'If we agree to the Nepal proposal, we'll have to sit for a Medical Council of India (MCI) test after finishing the course to obtain registration,' said Garima Sarawgi.

The new students, who could not be admitted last year because of the quota, decided to move the apex court after being told they would not be allowed to appear in the first semester tests and possibly also the first MBBS exams.

'The Supreme Court order of April 2004 states that 'successful candidates of (joint entrance examinations) 2003 will be treated as having completed successfully for 2004-05 admission,',' one of their representatives said. 'If they are not allowed, it will be a contempt of the apex court.'

The first semester internal examinations will start on January 6, while the first MBBS examinations are slated for late July-early August.

According to MCI norms laid down in accordance with Supreme Court directives, no candidate can be admitted to an MBBS course after September 30 of an academic year to ensure that the student undergoes teaching and training for at least 240 days. An MCI executive committee member said: 'Even if the council is lenient, attending classes for nine months is mandatory for eligibility to appear in the first professional MBBS examination.'

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