The 519 students whose admissions have been cancelled by the Medical Council of India(MCI) feel wrecked by the apex education regulator’s decision. They allege to have been misguided by their colleges.
The reason that led the MCI to take this decision was the discovery by the apex body that the colleges had been taking in students directly, violating a Supreme Court order of September 28, 2016. The order directed the state government to hold centralized counselling and allot colleges to students based on their performance in the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET).
Himanshu Mishra, 25, one among the 519 students to have received discharge notices from MCI. An MBBS student in a college near Lucknow since October 7, 2016, he received the admission cancellation notice on January 27 this year.
“I am not eligible for the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) because the government has fixed 25 years as the upper age to appear in NEET,” he says.
An inconsolable 21 year old Komal from Agra after losing her seat said“Why is MCI taking action against just us? Why has no action been taken against colleges that played with our careers,” she asks.
Dr (Major) Gulshan Garg (retd), chairman, Sankalp Charitable Trust that had petitioned the Supreme Court for implementation of NEET, sides with the colleges. “NEET was implemented for the first time in 2016 and counselling was not streamlined. Our country has an acute shortage of doctors. If colleges took admission directly, I think students should not be victimized for that.”
Though Mr Garg holds all Director Generals, Medical Education of states responsible for this disorganized state of affairs, Prof Raj Bahadur, Chairman, Monitoring Committee, MCI, differs in opinion.
“We cannot allow the colleges to circumvent the admission process. Both students and colleges have breached the law,” says Prof. Bahadur, who is also Vice Chancellor, Baba Farid University, Faridkot.
The Director General, Medical Education,Uttar Pradesh didn’t respond to come forth with a response to the HT .
Calling these admissions ‘backdoor entry’ to medical colleges, a senior health ministry official said they deserved to be cancelled.
“Clearing NEET is not the only criteria to get the admission. More than 3.5 lakh students passed the NEET exam, but only 60,000 seats are available,” he added.