Many postgraduate dentistry aspirants boycotted the counselling session for admission to MDS courses on Tuesday.
The students said they were disappointed with the seat matrix, as several private dental colleges have not surrendered 50 per cent of their MDS seats for the government quota.
Counselling for the 20 postgraduate seats at the Government Dental College and the 30-odd seats at four private dental colleges began on Tuesday morning, but at least 130 candidates boycotted the proceedings and staged a protest at the venue, Government Kilpauk Medical College.
They said the counselling should not have been held without getting all the seats from the private colleges.
On Monday, the selection committee put up the seat matrix, which has just 31 seats from private dental colleges including Sree Moogambika Dental College, Annamalai University and Sree Ramakrishna Dental College.
One of the rank-holders called for counselling said Ragas Dental College surrendered only three of its seats and those were for non-clinical courses.
A number of rank-holders in the MDS merit list said the seat matrix published was against the Madras High Court order which had asked all private dental colleges to surrender 50 per cent of their seats for the government quota.
“There are six colleges under the Tamil Nadu Dr. MGR Medical University and eight deemed universities in the State. However, only 15 seats have come from Annamalai University, which has been taken over by the State government,” said V. Murali, co-convenor, legal cell of the Indian Dental Association, State branch.
“Some colleges surrender their seats in non-clinical courses such as oral medicine, oral pathology and social dentistry and retain seats in the desirable clinical courses for the management quota,” another candidate said.
He said nearly 15 service candidates went for the counselling. “At the end of the session, 20 seats in the government dental college were filled. The selection committee has said the counselling schedule for the government quota MDS seats in self-financed dental colleges would be notified in due course. We dispersed in the evening and plan to approach officials soon,” he added.
The aspirants are also up in arms over private colleges demanding fees excess to those set by the government. “The fee committee has fixed the fee at Rs. 1.75 lakh per year. But last year, several colleges demanded up to Rs. 4 lakh,” another doctor said.
Officials of the health department said there were legal tangles concerning a number of private dental colleges. “We will try to sort out the legal problems before commencing the second phase of counselling,” an official said.