After the opposing to FDI (The Foreign Direct Investment) in retail, Mamata Banerjee, Chief Minister of Bengal has now demanded for deferment of common NEET 2012 (National Eligibility Entrance Test) for all MBBS as well as dental undergraduate programmes in Medical colleges across India.
On December 8th, Thursday, the Centre had requested the Supreme Court to defer common Entrance Examination by complete one year to 2013. CBSE in its affidavit before Supreme Court had a detailed schedule for NEET-UG, within which the date for online application submission was mentioned as December 1 and the last date for receipt of applications was mentioned as December 16. The test was expected to be conducted on May 13, 2012 with results expected to be declared in the last week of June, 2012.
In the current scenario, with the health and family welfare ministry filing an application for deferment of NEET-UG to 2013, chances are that the test may not be conducted at all. The major reason being insistence of Triune Congress to give students of West Bengal an option to answer the test in Bengali language. In addition, other states are also either seeking deferment or exemption fr om the exam.
However, the main reason for cancellation of NEET exam in 2012 seemed to Mamata's stress on the usage of Bengali language. The West Bengal Chief Minister in her letter to Health Minister has exhibited a preference towards continuing with the Joint Entrance Examination Board for all colleges in West Bengal. She also stated that West Bengal will be ready to join the NEET exam for UG Programmes only if students have the option to write the exam in Bengali.
The Chief minister of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Assam and Maharashtra also requested the Union Health Minister to exempt their states from NEET 2012 stating that students will require more time to switch to the new system and get acquainted with syllabus prescribed by Medical Council of India. The sources from Health Ministry revealed that although Goa, Gujarath and Maharashtra were ready to join NEET from 2013-14, AP requested for an exemption of 2 years from the exam and wanted to join the same from 2014-15.
Though Kerala exhibited interest to join NEET, it set its pre-conditions before the ministry that all its reservation policies should be allowed during the admission process in the medical courses. Assam Government also stated that provision of minimum marks for the entrance exam was not acceptable and grace marks should be allowed for ensuring adequate students are selected from Assam in the Medical colleges of the state.
With the Indian States having a string bend towards their vernacular language, will the government of India be able to persuade them to adopt NEET by 2013? Other wise the whole purpose of conducting a common All India Entrance Exam will fail and other states will be encouraged to seek exemption at a later stage.