West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting him to accommodate the medical students who returned from Ukraine in Indian colleges. Banerjee, who met students who came back to West Bengal from the war-torn country, urged the PM to relax the norms for them as it is an “extraordinary situation”.
In her letter to the prime minister, she put forth several suggestions including allowing eligible students to undergo internships in government medical colleges. “For other students…, they may be allowed to get admitted at the equivalent level in private medical colleges against the existing seats and these medical colleges may be allowed to increase equivalent number of seats,” the letter read.
As those Ukraine returnee students did not clear NEET, the national level examination for admission in medical colleges, Banerjee suggested that the relevant guideline be relaxed “as a very special case” to accommodate them. “The private medical colleges of the state have agreed to accommodate these students at state quota fees. The government of West Bengal has also decided to extend financial assistance to these students to meet the expenses on their course fees,” she said. “I also request you that as students who have returned to other states are facing similar problems, the steps that may be taken by NMC (National Medical Commission) be implemented for other states as well,” Banerjee wrote in a three-page letter to Modi.
Medical education in the country is regulated by the NMC. Banerjee on Wednesday met 391 students, who were studying medical and engineering courses in Ukraine. They returned because of the war and are now facing an uncertain future.
Top officials including Chief Secretary HK Dwivedi were present at the meeting. “Today we will write to the National Medical Commission (NMC) seeking its permission to allow you to practise internship at government medical colleges in West Bengal. We will also pay a stipend for that,” Banerjee told the students during the interaction here. She directed the state health secretary to go to Delhi and submit the letter to NMC and get the permission then and there.
She herself may go to the national capital to pursue the case, Banerjee said adding that if the NMC accepts the proposal, it would set an example for students in other states who are in similar conditions. She urged private medical colleges to help the students.
The CM said that her government would arrange for special courses for first, second and third-year medical students, if it gets permission from the NMC. As per norms, one pursuing a foreign medical graduation course should complete it within 10 years from the date of joining the course and from the same institution throughout the course of study, including training and internship. The chief minister told the engineering students that the government will look into their cases too.
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