Jammu: Dental aspirants in three states will have a tough time this academic year with back to back dates being announced for MDS counselling between April 4 and 9 in Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh.
On April 4, 2018 Rohtak will host the counseling for its MDS seats while Punjab will follow on April 5 at Faridkot. Meanwhile, the counseling for Himachal Pradesh seats will take place in Shimla on 9th April. Candidates are accusing the state governments of having asked them to be present in person for the MDS counseling, instead of allowing them to get themselves assessed online.
The counseling follows the 7th January held National Eligibility Test (NEET). The results for which were declared in the last week of January. It seems that given the situation, the exam qualifiers have little choice in the given circumstance but to pay the huge fee for the college they are granted admission in first.
Of the 972 seat counseling being conducted by the Medical Counselling Committee (MCC), only 230 central pool MDS seats are available for various government dental colleges and are to be filled through the All India Quota (AIQ). The remaining seats are with the private deemed and central universities. More than 18,000 candidates are eligible for counseling reports the Statesman.
In J&K the situation is more difficult with only 12 MDS seats available and thousands competing for it. Worst still admission to government dental colleges outside the state is not an option available to those with the J&K domicile as the state has not made any contributions to the central quota.
The Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, vide Notification No V.12012/1/2018-DE dated 22nd March 2018, has lowered the minimum qualifying percentile for MDS Course from 50th to 20.265th percentile for general category, 40th to 10.265th percentile for SC/ST/OBC and from 45th to 15.265th percentile for persons with disability.
Many state governments have had to alter their MDS counseling schedules after this notification. Earlier, Himachal was to host its counseling for MDS seats on 3rd April, however, it was rescheduled for the 9th of the month.This has caused immense discomfort to the aspirants as traveling plans have had to be altered with most rescheduling their traveling dates and hotel bookings.
Aspirants complained of having had to spend more money as they had to register separately with agencies authorized by each state government for counseling to secure a seat in any dental college.
The registration fee ranges between Rs 3,000 to Rs 5,000 per state.Websites have to be traversed daily for updates related to counseling schedule, fees or any notification by students.