Medical seat aspirants who logged on to the Karnataka Examinations Authority (KEA) website soon after the option entry was thrown open late on Tuesday night were in for a shock. Instead of displaying 2,221 seats in 38 colleges available for Common Entrance Test (CET) rank holders as promised in the CET brochure, only 1,588 seats in 27 colleges were displayed.

This gave rise to both anger and anxiety among parents and students who were already on tenterhooks as the Consortium of Medical, Engineering and Dental Colleges of Karnataka (COMEDK) counselling for medical seats had begun a day earlier.

“When the students are making serious calculations about the fee and cut-off ranks to see whether they should take a seat under the CET or COMEDK, the missing seats have left them further confused. The State government had said that the 400 seats in five medical colleges had been approved by the Medical Council of India. Then why are there 633 seats missing from the matrix,” an irate parent asked.

KEA officials passed the buck to the Medical Education Department, saying they had uploaded all the seats that were given as approved to them from the department.

Meanwhile, the former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy has accused the State government of aiding private institutions at the cost of meritorious students. On the other hand, the commencement of CET counselling left those who were attending the COMEDK counselling in a sticky spot. Students were seen working out all sorts of permutations and combinations on the second day of medical counselling to try to obtain seats and save money.

Even though COMEDK has agreed to refund the entire amount for Karnataka students who surrender their seats, without deducting any processing fee (from July 11 to 13), students will face a tricky situation as the KEA’s second round of allotment is only on July 23.