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The Tripura government and opposition parties have urged the central government and the Medical Council of India (MCI) to further relax eligibility criteria for admission to medical colleges for northeast's tribal students.
'Both the centre and the MCI are yet to communicate their decisions on more cut-off marks relaxations for the tribal and the Scheduled Castes (SC) community students seeking admission to MBBS courses,' Tripura's Health and Education Minister Tapan Chakraborty told reporters Sunday. He said the relaxation will facilitate backward community students to obtain professional education. Besides Chakraborty, Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar and opposition Congress leader Ratan Lal Nath have written separate letters to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad and MCI chairman K.K. Talwar on the issue. According to the MCI guidelines, a general category MBBS aspirant will have to secure at least 50 percent marks in both Class 12 and entrance examinations. The cut-off for students of tribal and SC communities is 40 percent. Various political parties and tribal organisations have been agitating for the past one month in Tripura on the issue. Some individuals and organisations have also filed cases in the Gauhati High Court, seeking directives for further relaxation of cut-off marks. Tribals constitute over 27 percent of the northeast India's total population of 45.58 million (2011 Census).
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