“We are expecting a 0.25 mark drop in the cut-offs; and across all categories”

The beneficial effect of the 285 extra MBBS seats in the State government’s kitty is likely to amount roughly to a reduction of 0.25 marks in the cut-off for each category.

While it seems a marginal drop, experts say hundreds of students are likely to benefit. Going by the Directorate of Medical Education’s cut-off for MBBS seats for the previous academic year, 2012-2013, it is possible to estimate the likely cut-off marks for the current year by factoring in the marks scored by students in Plus Two, and the increase in the number of MBBS seats.

“We are expecting a 0.25 mark drop in the cut-offs; and across all categories [OC/BC/BC(M)/MBC/SC/SCA/ST],” says Jayaprakash Gandhi, education consultant. (For 2012-2013 cut-offs and projection of 2013-2014 figures see box).

This will result primarily in more seats for the toppers in each cut-off plank, he goes on to explain. For instance, BC students who have scored 198.24 are more likely to get a seat than someone in the lower end of that band for that category: 197 (the projected cut-off rate for this year).

With about 30,000 applicants battling for less than 3,000 seats in the State quota, the competition is naturally intense. It is likely that there will be almost 200 students who will wedge themselves into the reckoning for a medical seat with the 0.25 mark reduction in each category, Mr. Gandhi estimates.

Given this situation, medical college professors and educationists indicate that it would be best for an applicant to take any seat that is given to him or her. “Students and parents tend to think that the new medical colleges are no good. But that is furthest from the truth; these colleges have the best infrastructure and equipment, and top professors in each subject,” says an official. “Technically, there is no choice when it comes to MBBS State seats, given the numbers we have. Take what is given, or if you have the luxury of choice, pick a college close to your home,” the official adds.

“While the colleges and seats offered under the single window counselling have all been verified and recognised, students have to be careful before they chose a self-financing medical college in the management quota,” says Mr. Gandhi. “I would advise them to make a trip to the college, look at the facilities, check if the college is approved, and then decide.”

There is also the additional financial burden that families must prepare themselves for before entering a private college. While a State-appointed committee specifies the fee structure for the management seats of private self financing medical colleges (that surrender seats to the government quota), it is often not being adhered to.

Another committee appointed by the government seeks to regulate admissions to the management seats of private self-financing medical colleges that share seats with the government. “The same merit list is followed, and the DME indicates a cut-off range for management quota seats. Students must remember that no college can deny them a seat if they have the requisite marks, just because they cannot afford the capitation fees,” official sources said.

By way of explanation, they said if a student finds that his application has been rejected by a private self-financing medical college to accommodate someone with a lesser mark, then that student can approach the committee for redress. The committee is headed by a retired judge and seeks to “ensure fair, transparent and non-exploitative admission of students to the professional courses for the seats retained by the private unaided self-financing professional institutions.”