MCI cleared decks for the 400 government seats in five colleges last week

Counselling by the Consortium of Medical, Engineering and Dental Colleges of Karnataka (COMEDK) for private undergraduate professional seats will begin on Tuesday as scheduled even as the State government is dragging its feet on announcing the seat matrix for medical courses.

This is the first time that the COMEDK counselling is being conducted ahead of the Karnataka Examinations Authority’s (KEA) counselling for government and government quota professional seats for Common Entrance Test (CET) rank holders.

On Monday, The Hindu had reported about the State government placing a request before the COMEDK on Saturday to postpone its counselling till KEA is done. The government has cited the delay in uploading of the number of seats by the Medical Council of India (MCI) in three government medical colleges as the reason for the delay in announcing the seat matrix. But the MCI had cleared the decks for the 400 government seats in five colleges last week.

While COMEDK’s first round of counselling for engineering students is scheduled for July 5 to 15, the KEA has not even begun mock allotment for professional courses and has indicated that real allotment could tentatively begin on July 12.

Meanwhile, according to the seat matrix announced by the State government for engineering courses on Monday, there are a total of 96,460 seats available.

‘Not our fault’

However, COMEDK’s chief executive A.S. Srikanth told The Hindu it had to complete the admission process before July 31. “[The government) did not stick to schedule, but we have to. The COMEDK had to keep in mind the interest of not just students from Karnataka but also from across the country as they would have [arrived] to participate in the counselling.”

Asked to comment on allegations that the skewed counselling schedule would benefit private college managements, he riposted: “It is due to the delay by the government that is going to help the private managements as all seats that fall vacant after July 31 will end up going to the management’s pool.”

The COMEDK is giving the students the option of surrendering seats by July 11 or 13. Except the top 300 rank holders in COMEDK and CET, there would be no confusion among the remaining students.

Mr. Srikanth has also promised Karnataka students that those who wish to surrender their COMEDK seat need not pay the Rs. 5,000 fee this time.