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JEE board chief on common test fears

The Bengal JEE board chairman has written to the health department expressing concern at the government’s decision to scrap its medical entrance exam and adopt the common national admission test.

Bhaskar Gupta wrote the letter — a copy of which is with Metro — last Monday.

The state’s acceptance of the national test was worrying because the mismatch between its Plus Two syllabus and the central board’s curriculum has not yet solved, the board chairman wrote.

In the letter, Gupta mentioned that seven states — including Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Tamil Nadu — had opted out of the common entrance test, citing syllabus mismatch.

Gupta also urged the principal secretary of the health department, Satish Tiwary, to apprise Mamata Banerjee, who holds the health portfolio, of the board’s views.

The CBSE will conduct the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) for admission to MBBS courses across the country. The Medical Council of India had proposed the common test to spare students the hassle of writing multiple exams.

Bengal had given its nod to the common test on October 10.

Gupta’s letter is a follow-up to his meeting with education minister Bratya Basu on November 12, where he had expressed similar fears.

“At least seven states have already declared their non participation in the UG NEET so far,” Gupta’s letter states. “Some of them like Bihar are approaching the judiciary and some like Andhra Pradesh have already obtained a stay from High Court regarding the same. In Maharashtra, the Hon’ble High Court has asked for explanation from the state government on why NEET should be implemented from 2013, after making a prima facie observation that without common syllabus a common entrance examination seems to be irrational.”

“We found that the Odisha Joint Entrance board is holding a separate medical entrance when a delegation of Odisha JEE board came to meet us for an exam-related issue earlier this month. We also learnt that seven states have opted out of the common entrance test over the issue of syllabus mismatch, prompting us to write to the health department,” said a board official. Gupta declined comment.

On November 21, the board had issued a formal notification announcing it would only hold the engineering entrance test on April 21, 2013.