In a bid to curb irregularities in the admission of candidates belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes to nursing courses in private colleges, the Social Welfare Department has, this year, adopted centralised counselling process through the Karnataka Examinations Authority (KEA), according to Minister for Social Welfare A. Narayanaswamy

Speaking to presspersons after inspecting the counselling session at the KEA here, he said that 3,650 Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes candidates have been allotted seats in 259 nursing colleges having proper infrastructure and approved by the Nursing Council for the academic year 2010-11.

Mr. Narayanaswamy said the centralised counselling was introduced as there were a large number of complaints about irregularities in the allotment of seats to eligible candidates in the districts by the officials of the department.

“The Social Welfare Department is bearing the entire cost of study and hostel facilities of these students by spending about Rs. 1.12 lakh to Rs. 1.25 lakh for the completion of their degree and diploma courses in nursing,” he said and added that 10,963 students from Scheduled Castes category and 2,118 students from Scheduled Tribes category were admitted to nursing courses in 2005.

Admissions are made against vacancies in management quota seats and the number of seats earmarked by managements for the Government, he said.

The admission to nursing courses under Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes quota is also open for candidates who have completed their pre-university in arts and commerce streams apart from those who have studied science. A large number of candidates appearing for counselling were from arts combination.

Twenty-year-old Vijayalakshmi, a native of Surpur, Gulbarga district, was one among them. She appeared for counselling along with her two-year-old son. “I have applied for the course with a hope that I will get a job,” she replied when the Minister spoke to her. Many candidates, who appeared for counselling on Monday, welcomed the centralised system saying that it removed favouritism at the district level.

Paramedical course

Meanwhile, Mr. Narayanaswamy announced that the department is providing admission to eight paramedical courses in private colleges for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes candidates, who have completed their SSLC and PUC, from the academic year 2010-11.

Admission will be made through centralised counselling through the KEA.

Admission will be available for diploma courses in medical laboratory technology, X-ray technology, operation theatre technology, ophthalmic technology, medical records technology, dental mechanics, dental hygienist and dialysis technology.

He also said that the benefit of allotment to nursing courses under government quota will also be extended to candidates from other backward classes from this year and applications have been invited from eligible students for this.

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