Now, you can take medical entrance in Bengali

KOLKATA: Candidates can take the common medical entrance test in Bengali from 2013. The Medical Council of India (MCI) has agreed to set the question papers in Bengali from 2013, apart from English and Hindi.

The decision was taken by the Medical Council of India (MCI) at a meeting held in New Delhi on Thursday. It was attended by the representatives of medical education departments of various states and the MCI officials.

"The MCI has decided that they will include Bengali, along with three other vernacular languages, in which the question papers will be prepared," said Susanta Bandyopadhyay, director, medical education, who was also present at the meeting as an adviser from Bengal.

"Bengali, Tamil, Telugu and Gujarati are the four vernacular languages in which the questions will be set. It seems letters written by Mamata Banerjee to the Union health minister Gulam Nabi Azad have yielded result," added Bandyopadhyay.

Officially named as National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET), the idea is to conduct one single entrance test for MBBS courses across the country. Initially, it was decided that the entrance test will be conducted from 2011 and later it was postponed to 2012. But the plans were shelved again by MCI as a number of states, including West Bengal, Tamil Nadu , Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh, had voiced dissent against the idea of framing question papers in English and Hindi.

"We had opposed the move earlier because the students from West Bengal, who had studied in Bengali from the primary level, would have suffered and meritorious students from the state would have been deprived. Our stand was supported by other states at various meetings of MCI," for deciding the syllabus of common entrance test, " said a senior state medical education official.

Sources at the health department said that a formal announcement would be made in this regard soon. "The uncertainty over the NEET will now be cleared and the state will thus be free of the responsibility for conducting such a massive test single handed. We are now waiting to find out about the syllabus for common entrance test, “said a senior professor of a city based medical college EOM

Bengali will be one of the vernacular languages in which Medical Council of India (MCI) has principally agreed to include apart from English and Hindi, in which the question papers for common medical entrance tests to be held in 2013.