DME creates panel to deal with ‘false’ nativity claims

The Directorate of Medical Education (DME) has created a five-member expert committee to look into complaints of “false nativity claims” made by aspirants to medical seats in the State.

The committee comprises Deputy Directors of Medical Education M. Selvaraj and G. Vimala Devi; P. Parasakthi, Director of the Institute of Forensic Medicine, Madras Medical College; K. Rajasekar, professor of Ophthalmology; P. Thirunavukkarasu, head, Physical Medicine; and V. Avudaiappan, Registrar, Tamil Nadu Homoeopathy Council.

Any disputes regarding nativity will be referred to the committee for scrutiny and the committee will give a decision that will be adopted as per the norms listed on the prospectus, said R. Narayana Babu, Director of Medical Education.

The DME said the committee had been constituted on Wednesday, the first day of counselling for medical and dental seats under the State quota.

Soon after the merit list for the State seats was released by the DME, complaints arose that Mohanaprabha Ravichandran, who had been ranked second, featured on the medical merit list in Kerala State.

Concerns were raised that she had claimed nativity in that State as well as in Tamil Nadu.

Another list

On Wednesday, as counselling began for seats reserved for government school students, another list of medical applicants emerged — this time a list of 34 candidates who had applied to colleges in Telangana as well as in Tamil Nadu. While the Tamil Nadu medical merit list had the details of the candidates’ community the Telangana list did not provide community affiliation of the students.

Ms. Mohanaprabha’s father Ravichandran said his daughter had applied for self-financing and private medical colleges in Kerala under a scheme that permits other State candidates to apply. “We are natives of Namakkal and we have not forged nativity for applications in Kerala. We applied under the non-Keralite II scheme in Kerala, in which those who are not natives of the State can apply for seats in private and self-financed medical colleges, and would be considered if seats are not filled through counselling there. We applied for it in February and did not follow up after that,” Mr. Ravichandran told The Hindu.

Since his daughter had scored good marks in the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET), she had appeared for the all-India counselling. Ms. Mohanaprabha had secured All India Rank 62 and is placed second on the State merit list. In the merit list in Kerala, she is ranked fifth among the top 10 candidates. She has since been admitted to JIPMER.

Ever since NEET became the qualifying criteria for medical seats, certain kinds of malpractices have crept in. Three years ago, candidates had claimed nativity after having lived in the State for five years and sought seats under government quota. This had led to a series of litigations.

Last year, a candidate was found to have used a proxy to write the test and qualify. The candidate’s father was arrested and the candidate was barred from applying for any seat in higher educational institutions.

Health Secretary J. Radhakrishnan said the DME had put in place “checks and balances”, and candidates were expected to give a signed affidavit that all information provided by them was genuine. If a candidate was found to have indulged in malpractice of any sort they not only would they lose their seat but criminal action would also taken against them, he added.

Malpractice would be attributed only if a student had claimed nativity in two different States as part of their MBBS application, he said.

(With inputs from Staff Reporter in Salem)

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2021 9:05:42 PM |

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