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Updated: June 19, 2013 11:21 IST

Half of disabled MBBS aspirants turned away

Special Correspondent
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Of the 81 candidates called for counselling on Tuesday, only 45 were allotted seats and nine seats fell vacant — Photo: K. Pichumani
The Hindu
Of the 81 candidates called for counselling on Tuesday, only 45 were allotted seats and nine seats fell vacant — Photo: K. Pichumani

Almost half the applicants under the disability category for MBBS and BDS returned home disappointed on Tuesday as the medical board rejected their applications.

While some took it in their stride, others were upset. The counselling for MBBS and BDS seats in medical colleges in the State began on Tuesday with the category that comprises the sports quota, physically disabled and children of ex-servicemen.

R. Devipriya, from Manampathi in Kancheepuram district, who has passed class XII, this year, was one of the rejected candidates. She lost her right leg at the age of 18 months in an accident. Her father is a noon meal scheme organiser.

“In my identity card issued by the National Rehabilitation Centre, I have 70 per cent disability. I was ranked 45 in the cut-off list today but failed to get a selection,” she said.

For C. Mahendran, who has been accompanying his daughter for three years from Bargur, it was disappointment again. Rosie passed class XII in 2011 with 1,083 marks. “Last year, they said she had 70 per cent disability but this year they changed it to 80 per cent,” said Mr. Mahendran.

Rosie’s right leg was amputated following a bus accident at the age of four years.

“For a year after class XII, she remained at home but the next year she got a seat in Ethiraj College where she studied science. Last year, she got a seat in Anna University and has taken up the ECE stream. But we did not lose hope and applied for a medical seat this time too,” he said.

Applicants with disability must enclose their photo and certificate provided by the government in the admission forms. But the Directorate of Medical Education conducts its own examination to determine the candidate’s disability.

An expert in physical medicine, neurology and orthopaedics examines the candidates to determine fitness.

On Tuesday, of the 138 candidates who applied, only 81 were called for counselling. Of them, 45 candidates were allotted seats and nine seats fell vacant, said R.G. Sukumar, secretary of the selection committee.

The Medical Council of India has stipulated that candidates must undergo a medical examination before selection. “We cannot go by the certificates provided by other agencies. A qualified doctor must be able to examine patients and if disability comes in the way, then the doctor cannot perform her duties well,” he said.

But Mr. Mahendran has not got over his disappointment. “They have the candidate’s photo and the certificate of disability. If they don’t want to give the seat, why send call letters? They could have sent a rejection letter instead. It would have saved us the trouble and the heartbreak,” he said.

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