With seats in government medical colleges reserved for ST students remaining vacant due to non-availability of eligible candidates, Odisha government has decided to facilitate medical coaching for ST and SC students in professional institute.

The latest move is departure from its earlier policy of selection of institutions through bidding process.

Now the ST and SC Development Department would provide facility of coaching by reputed institutes having presence at all India level to the poorest of the poor meritorious ST and SC students whose parental income is less than Rs. 2 lakh per annum.

A top department official said, “These children are brought from tribal dominated and remote districts of Odisha and would otherwise have not got an opportunity to avail such education and coaching facility.”

Last year, integrated medical coaching with Plus Two Science course started in 2012-13 session with city-based Hi-Tech Plus Two Science College under Vigyan Bharati Charitable Trust which was selected through bidding process. As many as 100 students were admitted.

These students would appear medical entrance test in 2014. Their performance can be assessed after publication of results.

The State government has nominated ‘Akash Institute’ for admission of ST and SC students in integrated course as there is no other institute having national presence other than Akash in Bhubaneswar.

According to SSD department, the present reservation in engineering and medical colleges is at 12 and 8 per cent for ST and SC respectively. While the seats meant for SC category generally gets filled up, the seats meant for STs remain vacant.

Further there is an in-principle approval to enhance the reservation ST/SC students from 20 per cent to 38 per cent in medical and engineering colleges.

“It is quite clear that ST and SC students are not able to qualify for medical seats on account of poor coaching facilities and the required guidance to succeed in medical entrance examination,” a base paper says.

The government will bear the expenses incurred towards facilitating medical coaching to meritorious ST and SC category students.

Seats meant for STs remain vacant due to non-availability of eligible candidates