Abolish NEET, let states conduct entrance exams: Mamata Banerjee to PM Modi | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Abolish NEET, let states conduct entrance exams: Mamata Banerjee to PM Modi

Jun 24, 2024 08:16 PM IST

Mamata Banerjee also expressed her “strong reservation” over the Centre excluding the state government from discussions with Bangladesh’s Sheikh Hasina

KOLKATA: West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to abolish the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) Examination and revert to the previous system in which states conducted their entrance examinations.

West Bengal chief minister and TMC chief Mamata Banerjee interacts with the media after a meeting with newly elected MPs of the party in Kolkata on June 8 (PTI)
West Bengal chief minister and TMC chief Mamata Banerjee interacts with the media after a meeting with newly elected MPs of the party in Kolkata on June 8 (PTI)

“I strongly urge you to consider and take immediate steps to restore the previous system of conducting this examination by the state governments and abolish the NEET examination. This will help restore normalcy and confidence of the aspirant students in the system,” she said in a letter to PM Modi.

In a second letter to PM Modi, Banerjee expressed her “strong reservation” over the Centre excluding the state government from discussions with Bangladesh regarding Teesta water sharing and the Farakka Treaty, saying the two issues should not be discussed without the Bengal government’s involvement.

Referring to the discussions between PM Modi and Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in New Delhi on Saturday, Banerjee said it appeared that water-sharing issues relating to the Ganges and Teesta rivers may have been discussed during the meeting. “Such unilateral deliberations and discussions without consultation and opinion of the state government is neither acceptable nor desirable,” Banerjee said.

On NEET, which was mired in allegations of leaked question papers, flawed scoring, and cheating, the chief minister said the matter required a thorough, clean and impartial probe.

“Such instances jeopardise the career and aspirations of students who look forward to get admission into these medical courses. Such instances not only compromise the quality of medical education but adversely affect the quality of medical facilities and treatment,” she said in her letter.

It recalled that before 2017, states and the central government used to conduct their separate entrance examinations. The decentralised system was later changed to a unitary and centralised system of examination to take complete control of all admissions to medical courses without any involvement of the states.

“The present system has led to massive corruption,” she added.

The BJP, however, mocked the chief minister. “She wants to revert to the old system? Which old system is she referring to? The one in which lists of (underserving) candidates were sent to secure their jobs?” said Samik Bhattacharya, West Bengal BJP spokesperson.

On Banerjee’s letter to seek the involvement of the state government in Teesta water-sharing discussions, Bhattacharya added: “The chief minister can’t change protocols. International bilateral talks are held between the heads of two countries. Only constitutional experts can say whether a chief minister should be invited to that meeting as a special invitee. But there are no examples in which the TMC has attended such meetings of international importance or related to internal security,” Bhattacharya added.

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