At a time where rackets regarding questionable 'toppers' are being busted all across India, 48-year-old Pradip Halder from Pratappur in Nadia district, West Bengal, is waiting for the results of his 17th attempt at the medical entrance examination for MBBS.
According to a report in Hindustan Times, Halder has been trying to crack the exam since the year 2000, in hopes that his rank would be among the top 500, which would secure him a seat at a Government medical college.
Father of two, Halder is an agricultural labour, and works for a salary of ₹4,000 per month. Inching towards 50 year mark, Halder says the villagers' taunts and jibes don't bother him. He told HT:
"Villagers often ridicule me as I prepare and appear for the test every year. But I am not deterred. I will be a doctor one day."
Thankfully for Halder, West Bengal does not have any ceiling on age for the common medical exam.
While Halder passed Class X exam from West Bengal in 1988, his situation, however forced him to take a break. Later, in 2000, he cleared his Class XII exams with English, Hindi, physics, chemistry and biology as his main subjects.
When the HT reporter asked him why didn't he simply start practising as a 'quack', or work as an assistant to a qualified doctor, Halder replied:
"I don't believe in cheating people. I have confidence in myself and will keep appearing for the entrance test till I qualify."
Off late, West Bengal has facing a lot of complaints about fake doctors who are working with noted government as well as private hospitals.
According to The Times of India, the West Bengal Medical Council has asked every single doctor in the state to register again, as well as renew and update their credentials.
Now, Halder's only worry is that the common medical entrance test does not become mandatory, or even if it does, the upper age limit for a Scheduled Caste (SC) candidate is relaxed.
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