Mumbai: The government is proposing strong actions against the MBBS aspirants, who based on their good marks are called for counselling first, but misuse this opportunity to block seats in the centralised counselling
If a recent Union Health Ministry proposal to the Supreme Court is to be believed and accepted, medical aspirants blocking seats in the centralized NEET counselling, besides having to pay a penalty of Rs 2 lakh will be facing debarment from NEET counselling.
TOI reports The Ministry with MCI approval has recommended a “refundable” registration fee of Rs 2 lakh for medical and dental admissions to be conducted by the central government.While a sum of Rs. 2 lakh has been fixed as a fee for private and deemed colleges, for government seats it is fixed at Rs 25,000. The amount is meant to be adjusted against the tuition fee, if the student accepts the seat allotted and forfeited, if found blocking it. A senior ministry official confirmed the same to the daily.
Having said that, it has yet to be decided by the ministry at what stage of the admission process is the admission to be confirmed for the aspirant, or he or she penalized or debarred for fraudulent blocking.
The first round in all probability will let go of a student looking to join a better college or course. The Oversight Committee is reviewing the proposal regarding it at present, which involves MCI’s functioning, as well. There are possibilities of it recommending changes in the proposal
The Directorate General of Health Services’s (DGHS), Medical Counselling Committee (MCC), conducts admissions to the all-India quota seats for MBBS/BDS courses in state government colleges and all seats in deemed colleges. MD/MS course seats filled by MCC. It is responsible entirely for the deemed and super specialty admissions, while only for 50% of all India seats of state government colleges.
The Supreme Court will have to be the approving party in this case, to avoid multiple litigations, which had delayed admissions last year, said an official.
“Students with higher ranks are the ones who usually block seats at multiple places. The second and third rungs of students in the merit list are usually affected. This problem can be eliminated only if there is a combined counselling for all colleges at undergraduate and postgraduate levels,” a government official informed TOI. 30% of seats in UG courses in deemed colleges remained unfilled last year, which were later filled.
Currently, if only UG courses are considered, the state governments are conducting admissions in their own colleges and in private colleges; the Centre conducts admissions to the all-India seats and deemed colleges. In addition to this, autonomous institutes such as AIIMS and Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research conduct their own independent counselling process.
“With multiple processes, there is no mechanism to monitor the reasons behind students holding back seats. Students randomly select deemed colleges, despite their inability to afford higher fees. Such students unnecessarily block the chance of others with lower merit ranks, who are genuinely interested in those seats,” said the official.
In order to prevent blocking of seats and avoid vacancies, the DGHS plans to start counselling for deemed medical colleges after state and central government seats are filled.
“Students usually participate in admission processes in multiple states and also in the all-India quota. They are not sure about the outcome and sometimes are forced to hold seats. To have a blanket policy could be unfair to them. Having a single process could benefit them,” a parent opined on the case.
The ministry official, however, added that the move was being initiated to deter students from blocking seats and not discourage students from filling multiple choices. It was in the direction of helping students make realistic choices. “Despite 100% allotment, more than 50% seats remained vacant after every round for all-India seats last year,” added the official.
Director, Maharashtra’s Directorate of Medical Education and Research, Pravin Shingare, told TOI that though parents might complain about the high-security deposit, the fact was that it would act as a deterrent against blocking of seats and taking away an opportunity from meritorious students.