Chennai

50 of the top 150 candidates absent at medical counselling

The first day of general counselling for those under the government quota medical seats in the State on Monday ended with as many as 50 students among the top 150 remaining absent. This year, the topper was a candidate who ranked 16th in the State. The candidate had scored 681 in the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET).

The second candidate, who got into the Madras Medical College, was ranked 19th in the merit list. The third candidate, who was also allotted a seat on the first day on Monday, was ranked 26th in the State’s merit list. A candidate ranked 31 in the merit list was the fourth person to be allotted a seat.

Among the self-financing medical colleges, only the PSG Institute of Medical Sciences opened its account, when a candidate with a score of 631 opted for it.

Director of Medical Education R. Narayana Babu said the candidates who were absent had probably taken seats under the all-India quota provision. Also, some candidates were from other States and had chosen a seat in their native States, he added.

According to him, counselling was slow due to officials taking time to verify the claims made by candidates.

At the end of the day, when a total of 361 candidates had been called for counselling, as many as 1,060 seats were vacant in the self-financing medical colleges and 2,440 seats in government medical colleges.

During the counselling, officials distributed allotment letters to three government school students who had taken seats in self-financing colleges. The candidates had not taken their allotment letter as they felt they could not afford the fees in a private college.

“We asked them to pick up their allotment letters,” Health Minister C. Vijayabaskar told presspersons. He said the toppers had opted for JIPMER and AIIMS.

He maintained that some students opted out for several reasons. On whether the students who opted out did so due to an inability to pay the fees, he said the students could appear for the second phase of counselling.

Medical Education officials, however, said the students did not have to pay any fees to collect their allotment letters. “They could have taken the letters,” a senior official pointed out.

Of the 361 candidates who had been called for counselling on Monday, 308 had attended. Of this, 307 candidates were allotted seats in government medical colleges. Fifty-three candidates were absent.

Earlier in the day, the Doctor’s Association for Social Equality had demanded that the fee structure at the Rajah Muthaiah Medical College, the Rajah Muthaiah Dental College and the Indian Road Transport Corporation Medical College, which the State government has renamed the Erode Government Medical College, should be on par with those of other government colleges.

Dr. Vijayabaskar said since the colleges continued to function under the Higher Education Department, and a government order was yet to be issued to transfer them, the fee structure could not be changed.

He said the government had proposed to increase the seats in the Coimbatore Medical College for the next academic year.

Counselling postponed

Meanwhile, medical counselling for Tuesday has been postponed to November 30, the Directorate of Medical Education (DME) announced. The decision was taken due to inclement weather.

The Health Department will make the necessary arrangements for candidates who have already arrived for Tuesday’s counselling, the Department has said.

Details of the revised counselling schedule will be uploaded in the DME website, officials said.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2021 1:45:58 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/50-of-the-top-150-candidates-absent-at-medical-counselling/article33164857.ece

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