Bengal govt ‘fudges’ med entrance marks
Pradip Chatterjee firstname.lastname@example.org
As many as 317 general category and 360 reserved category students in the state’s medical colleges failed to secure minimum qualifying marks in the entrance examination this year. But two state government departments are accused of increasing their marks to ensure that they were admitted.
The Medical Council of India, which has received a complaint detailing this jugglery with numbers, has confirmed that action will be taken. But the state government seems unconcerned about the marks fiasco which might well jeopardise the future of the students.
The West Bengal Health and Family Welfare Department and the West Bengal Joint Entrance Examination (WBJEE) Board are alleged to have increased the marks of candidates in the West Bengal Joint Entrance Examination.
The complaint lodged with the Medical Council of India (MCI), the highest regulating body, and the Union health minister alleges that there were disparities in the marks obtained by the candidates in JEE and the marks that were submitted to MCI by the
The report submitted to MCI by medical colleges shows that marks of those candidates who had obtained the qualifying marks and those who had not were both increased. It is alleged that all students admitted to the Bachelor of Dental Sciences (BDS) course had failed the entrance examination.
Till last year, all medical colleges had to submit a hard copy of results to MCI giving details of marks of the successful candidates. But this year MCI had asked the state health department and medical colleges to submit the marks online by 15 October, and to also submit a hard copy signed by principals of the colleges. Accordingly all the colleges sent their lists to MCI. And this is where the inflation of marks was detected.
Some examples are revealing.
The OMR (Optical Mark Recognition) and response sheet of a student at the Murshidabad Medical College show that he secured 129.33 of a total 243 marks. But the report sent to MCI by the college shows that he got 161 marks.
General Category students ranking between 2024 and 2092 are shown in the report submitted to MCI by colleges as all having got 151 marks. But OMR sheets of some of these candidates show that they actually got only 115 marks. The pass mark for general category students is 122 (50 per cent of the total 243 marks).
It was alleged that 317 general category students having ranks from 1450 to 1767 and now studying MBBS in different medical colleges had failed to obtain the qualifying 122 marks. As many as 360 candidates under reserved category who ranked between 230 (general ranking 3400) and 590 had scored below 98 in aggregate, that is less than 40 per cent of the total marks, a pre-requisite for admission.
On the basis of the rules framed by the Medical Council of India, WBJEE Board in its notification on 23 March 2014 had said that general category students wishing to study medical or dental courses had to secure at least 50 per cent marks while the candidates under reserved categories had to obtain minimum 40 per cent marks.
The Board announced results of the examination on 5 June and published a rank-list of 4,433 successful candidates for medicine.
After conducting the examination, WBJEE Board sends the detailed account of the marks of candidates to the West Bengal Medical Counselling Committee (WBMCC) formed by the state family welfare department. WBMCC then sends the marks of candidates to respective colleges. And finally the principal of the medical colleges submits a report to the MCI.
Dr Jayshreeben Mehta, President of the Medical Council of India said: “We have received the complaint. We are looking into the matter. Action will be taken.” MCI, it will be recalled, had cancelled admission of some 90 post-graduate students in the state in 2013, as the selection process flouted a key rule framed by it.
Dr Sajal Biswas, General Secretary of Service Doctors Forum, a voluntary organisation of doctors, demanded a high-level enquiry into the incident.
When asked about the matter on telephone, Minister of state for Health, Ms Chandrima Bhattacharya said: “I will not answer any of your queries as the assembly is in session now.”
The Principal Secretary (Health), Mr Malay Kumar De, when contacted, said he needed some time to look into the matter. But over the next two days, he refused to take any calls from The Statesman.
CMCH principal ‘post office’
Pradip Chatterjee email@example.com 20 November
Four first year students in the MBBS course at Calcutta Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) under general category had obtained 93.66 marks out of 94 in Biological Science in the West Bengal Joint Entrance Examination which seems impossible, as the distribution of marks does not allow this.
The CMCH authorities sent a report to the Medical Council of India giving a detailed account of the marks that students had secured in the entrance examination. The report shows that only around .33 marks (1/3rd) were deducted in biological science.
Prof. Tapan Kumar Lahiri, principal of CMCH, said that the marks in question, which the college authorities had sent to the MCI, were received from the West Bengal Joint Entrance Exam (WBJEE) Board. “I am a post office and I simply sign the documents that had been sent to me and I do not have any time to check the marks obtained by individual candidates.”
Denying Prof Lahiri’s statement, Mr Bhaskar Gupta, WBJEE Board chairman, however, claimed that they have never submitted the account of marks directly to the colleges.
The account of candidates’ marks was sent to the state health department, Mr Gupta said.
The Statesman on Thursday reported that there were disparities in the marks obtained by the candidates in JEE and the marks that were submitted to MCI by the colleges. The West Bengal Health and Family Welfare department and the West Bengal Joint Entrance Examination (WBJEE) Board are alleged to have increased the marks of candidates in the report submitted to MCI that has already received a complaint on this.
The distribution of marks in the Biological Science prescribed by the WBJEE Board for this year entrance examination was in three categories. Category I had 60 questions carrying one mark each for which only one option is correct. One wrong answer leads to the deduction of 1/3 mark (.33) along with one mark of the question.
Therefore, 1.33 marks will be deducted if the answer is wrong. In category II, there are 15 questions carrying two marks each for which only one option is correct. For one wrong answer 2/3 mark (.66/.67) will be deducted along with two marks.
In the III category, there are five questions carrying two marks each, for which one or more than one option may be correct. Making correct options will contribute maximum two marks on pro rata basis. There will be no negative marking for these questions. However, any marking of wrong option will award zero mark against the respective question- irrespective of the number of correct options marked.
In any possible cases .66 mark can be deducted here in this category.
So if there is at least one mistake a candidate loses .66 mark. There are no possibilities of deducting .33 marks in any case. If a candidate does not make any mistake he/she will get 94 out of 94.
Medical fraternity in the city have criticised the incident. Dr S Mukherjee, a renowned medicine doctor said: “How can government departments be so irresponsible that so many irregularities have been found in the distribution of marks in the prestigious medical entrance examination.
Dr S Mulla, a post graduate student said: “Last year the MCI cancelled admission of around 90 students who inducted flouting a key rule framed by the MCI. The government should constitute a high level committee to probe into the incident.”
Med. Scam: MCI seeks papers
The Medical Council of India, which is investigating the alleged fudging of marks in the West Bengal medical entrance exam, has sought all documents relating to procedures for conducting the exam and the marks obtained by the candidates.
The move follows publication of reports in The Statesman on 20-21 November on how the marks of medical entrance candidates, submitted to the MCI by medical colleges, have been fudged. A complaint was also lodged with the MCI in this regard. It has been learnt from sources that the original OMR (Optical Mark Recognition) sheets of the candidates, their response sheets, four sets of question papers, frozen answer keys and other related documents have been sought. The grievance cell of the MCI will scrutinise the documents. The state health department has been asked to provide the necessary documents.
Dr Jayshreeben Mehta, the president of the MCI, said: “We have written a letter to the state government seeking all information related to the matter. Our grievance cell will examine the documents. Strong action will be taken if anybody is found guilty.” Dr Surjya Kanta Mishra, Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly, held a press conference outside the House yesterday and protested against the alleged fudging of marks, in which various state government departments were involved. Dr Mishra told The Statesman today that the Centre should investigate the matter properly and those who were involved in the incident of marks fudging must be punished.
Ever since the reports were published in The Statesman, the West Bengal Health and Family Welfare Department, the West Bengal Joint Entrance Examination Board and the principals of the medical colleges started blaming each other. The health department says it has nothing to do with the distribution of marks while the WBJEE board maintains that the marks obtained by the candidates were submitted to the Health Department. The principals of the medical colleges have been saying that they have only forwarded to the MCI the marks they have received.
A senior official of the MCI, on condition of anonymity, today said that admissions of those found to have failed to secure the minimum marks in the entrance examination will be cancelled.
The complaint that has been lodged with the MCI said 600 medical applicants who have been admitted to various medical colleges were found to have failed to secure the qualifying marks. The MCI can take steps against medical college authorities for furnishing false information. Last year the MCI had cancelled the admissions of 90 PG students for flouting a key rule.
Wbjee lacked transparency’
The West Bengal Joint Entrance Examination (WBJEE) Board did not maintain transparency in the procedure of selecting candidates for the medical courses this year and all the norms were not properly followed, alleged some former board officials.
A retired senior official of the board raised the question why the WBJEE board does not provide the information of all the successful candidates securing ranks in the entrance examination on the internet.
At present, a candidate securing rank can only see his ranks and marks he/she had secured, and the rank list of all the candidates cannot be accessed by an individual.
But in case of other entrance examinations conducted by the same board for Veterinary, Homeopathy and Ayurveda it makes information of all the candidates available on the internet. Here, an invidual can see the entire rank list.
It has been alleged that this year, 2/3 members of the board were not present during the meeting held before the publication of the result of the entrance examination. “How can the WBJEE board clear the candidates who have failed to secure the minimum eligibility of marks in the entrance examination,” a retired board official asked.
It has also been learnt that till a few years ago the WBJEE board did not submit the list of marks of the candidates to the state health department.
The question is also raised as why the board has sent the details of the rankers to the state health department only after it has become a statutory body recently.
The Times of India
MCI writes to state on marks goof
Nov 26, 2014
KOLKATA: The career of about 1,000 medical students is in jeopardy following the allegation that the government has increased marks of several students to ensure their admission to various medical colleges of the state.
The Medical Council of India has written to the state government and promised to take action if the discrepancy is proved.
A complaint lodged with the highest regulating body on November 17, 2014, states that the the West Bengal health and family welfare department and the West Bengal Joint Entrance Examination (WBJEE) Board have allegedly increased the marks of the candidates as the number of students qualified for admission to medical and dental colleges fell far short of the 2,850 seats.
“We have taken cognizance of the matter and have written a letter to the state government. We will take strong action if this is proved and if anybody is found guilty,” said Medical Council of India president Jayshreeben Mehta.
This year, the WBJEE board uploaded the answer key for stipulated question papers of WBJEE 2014 and also the optical mark recognition(OMR) and response sheets of all the examinees in the website. So, all the examinees had got the access to their own OMR and response sheets for the said examination and what marks he or she secured in the particular subject.
The reports submitted to MCI by colleges showed that some students secured 151 marks, while they actually got only 115. The pass mark for general category students is 122 (50 per cent of the total 243 marks), mentioned the complaint.
Citing example of students getting admitted to Calcutta Medical College, it has been said that five candidates have been given 93.66 in biology, which is absurd. The complainant alleged that as many 600 students in MMBS course and another 308 students admitted in dental course have failed and they have been given an additional number of 36 to facilitate their entry.
Director of medical education Sushanta Banerjee, however, strongly denied the allegation.
Speaking to TOI, Banerjee said, “People are unnecessarily making this an issue. If the MCI seeks a clarification, we will provide all the details. Everything was done online and there was no way we can fudge or increase the marks, ”
Chairman of WBJEE board Bhaskar Gupta denied receiving any letter from the MCI and said, “If the MCI seeks any information, we will definitely provide. There is nothing to hide”.
“We have received the numbers from the health department. There might be one or two typing errors, but that can be rectified. We have nothing else to do. If the MCI seeks the number details, we will send it again,” said principal of Calcutta Medical College Tapan Lahiri.
“The complaint has some details which is really striking and we want to know the actual facts and the state government will have to provide us the details,” said an MCI official.
Minister of state for health Chandrima Bhattacharya was not available for comment.