Chennai

Elderly men take part at special category counselling for MBBS

A 61-year-old man caused a stir by participating in the counselling for admission to MBBS on Friday under the category of government school students.

He had taken the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) and scored 249 marks. He was ranked 349 under the 7.5% reservation.

K. Sivaprakasam, a retired zoology teacher of the Government High School at Indur in Dharmapuri district, said he was satisfying his dream and his parents’ wish. His son has just four months left to complete house surgeonship at the Kanyakumari Medical College Hospital.

“I have mentored two students. One of my students, Sathish, has completed MBBS at the Coimbatore Medical College and is preparing for PG NEET,” Mr. Sivaprakasam said. Another student, S. Kumar, ranked fifth under the quota for government school students, was admitted to the Madras Medical College on Friday.

Mr. Sivaprakasam’s parents are also retired government school teachers. They live with him. His wife is an inspector at the Local Fund Audit Department. He said he had completed schooling at Thyagi Sivasubramania Siva Government Higher Secondary School and qualified as an MBC candidate.

Asked how he planned to be part of a very young group of students, he said, “My confidence is rooted in the fact that I can understand a student’s psychology, having spent all my life with them.”

Mr. Sivaprakasam said his son had reasoned that he would deprive a younger candidate of a career if he chose to study. However, he was declared ineligible in the counselling hall as he did not do two years of higher secondary schooling. “I did one year of pre-university and joined college. Officials said I was ineligible to participate,” he explained, adding that he did not pursue the matter of how the selection committee considered him eligible if that was the case. “I had planned to forgo the seat anyway.”

Director of Medical Education R. Narayana Babu said selection committee officials were flummoxed, too. “Two persons, one aged 58 and the other aged 61, had participated in the counselling. Both were rejected as they had done PUC, and did not have the mandatory 11th and 12th Standard,” he said.

On how they managed to figure in the list of eligible candidates, Dr. Narayana Babu blamed it on the computerisation of data. “They have applied online, written the test, and based on the score they have been given ranks. There is no age bar on taking the test. All data are filled online. The computer generates all the details. Now, we have to consider this issue, too,” he said.


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Printable version | May 17, 2022 1:13:40 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/elderly-men-take-part-at-special-category-counselling-for-mbbs/article38341473.ece