Enquiries with Medical Education Department officials reveal that they are unaware of the practices in Karnataka or Puducherry

A couple of months ago, the Medical Council of India refused permission to increase the number of seats in the postgraduate MD General Medicine programme of Stanley Medical College for the current academic year.

While college authorities maintain that they have met all the conditions laid down by the MCI, till date their queries to the MCI remain unanswered. A college official said: “We have sought details of what deficiencies need rectification and are awaiting reply.”

Every year, the State government struggles to add more seats to its undergraduate and postgraduate pool. But some neighbours have found a way to ensure that at least some meritorious students can achieve their goals.

In May, the Karnataka High Court directed the six deemed universities in Karnataka to adhere to their agreement and surrender 25 per cent of the enhanced number of seats in PG medical courses for allotment through the government quota for the current academic year. In Karnataka, through an agreement renewed annually, the deemed universities surrender a certain number of seats in both undergraduate and postgraduate medical courses. The students who come through the government quota pay government-stipulated fees for private colleges.

In the Union Territory of Puducherry too, deemed universities and private medical colleges surrender a certain number of undergraduate seats to the Centralised Admission Committee set up by the government. Last year, some colleges surrendered 24 MBBS seats each to the government. While the student is expected to pay half the fee, the government reimburses the college the rest.

According to a director of a Puducherry University-run college, the agreement was reached when the government did not own any college.

Enquiries with Tamil Nadu Medical Education Department officials revealed that they were unaware of the practices in Karnataka or Puducherry.

Several of them said the demand for such a consortium or seat-sharing must come from the selection committee. Committee officials, however, said the decision must be made by the Directorate of Medical Education.

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