Chennai: A flash protest was staged by a group of students who squatted inside the counselling hall at the Omandurar Government Medical College, the venue of post-graduate medical counselling on Sunday.
These candidates, who had been allocated seats in the online counselling for All-India Quota (AIQ), were upset that they had not been given permission to participate in the home state’s counselling, despite getting high scores.
State counselling is usually held immediately after the first round of counselling for All India Quota seats.
The delay this year in the conduction of state counselling happened due to private medical college pass outs moving court to protest against the State’s rule to award additional marks to candidates who served in government hospitals.
On May 16, the Madras High Court passed a ruling that candidates from urban health posts could not be awarded extra marks. The Directorate of Medical Education following this released the merit list and announced the counselling dates as well.
The protest on Sunday was against the merit list which excluded students who had been allotted seats under AIQ. Students in three different groups had sought a court directive to allow them to participate in the counselling for State quota seats.
“The State should have conducted its first round of counselling after the first round of the AIQ. They delayed it and we had to go for the second round of AIQ. We have higher scores than those participating in the counselling today but we are studying in other states,” one of the students complained.
Some higher score candidates allotted seats in Gujarat, Assam and Andhra Pradesh said they were willing to pay the penalty between Rs. 3 and Rs. 5 lakh, as announced by a Tirupati college for admission to an institution in the home state.
According to Selection Committee, Secretary G. Selvarajan the students had carried only bonafide letters and not the original certificates and hence could not be allotted seats under the State quota.
The original certificates by the protestors had been submitted to the colleges they had been admitted to.
The protesters were removed from the counselling hall by the police that had been summoned by the authorities.
Of the total 569 candidates eligible for counselling at the venue, only 500 participated and 57 candidates were wait-listed.
The first day of the counselling on Sunday had seen a total of 443 seat allocations, including 29 in self-financing colleges reported the Hindu.
1,344 candidates had been called for counselling by the Selection Committee and 775 candidates have been allotted seats under the All India Quota.