Oppose NEET: Protesting students tell Bengal government

Kolkata: A section of students scheduled to appear for the West Bengal Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) launched an agitation here on Monday, demanding the state government oppose the National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET) for admission to medical courses and move the Supreme Court.

The students said in the wake of a common all-India medical entrance test, the state level JEEs to be held on May 17 would be scrapped, putting “the future of thousands of JEE candidates in the dark”.

“States like Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh are opposing the NEET and are going to hold their state level entrance exams. Some of them are also planning to move the SC. But our state government didn’t clarify its stand,” said a statement by the protesting students led by All India Democratic Students’ Organisation.

“We demand the state government immediately oppose the NEET and move the Supreme Court to save the future of thousands of students,” it said.

The students resorted to sloganeering and tried to push through police barricades to submit a memorandum to the state director of Medical Education at Swasthya Bhawan in Salt Lake in the northeastern fringes of the city.

The move comes as the Supreme Court is to hear on Tuesday a batch of applications seeking that NEET may not be thrust on states and they be allowed to conduct their own entrance examinations.

Various states, besides the associations of private medical colleges, are aggrieved by the apex court’s Friday order reiterating that admission to undergraduate medical courses will be only through NEET to be conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE).

Last week, the Supreme Court said students aspiring for admission to under-graduate medical courses will have to appear in the National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET), and declined the pleas for exemption by Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.