For the second year in a row, the number of seats available for in-service doctors for Diplomate of National Board (DNB) and Post Graduation (PG) quota has been cut drastically. As against Karnataka’s share of 114 DNB seats, only 49 seats have been notified for the academic year 2022-23. This comes days after the government notified in-service PG seats, down by 192 seats.
Aspirants for these seats have decided to challenge the government’s move in the High Court of Karnataka.
DNB is a post-graduate medical qualification awarded by the National Board of Examinations (NBE). The DNB course is approved by the Government of India and is considered equivalent to the Doctor of Medicine (MD) or Master’s in Surgery (MS).
NBE has allotted 228 DNB seats for Karnataka, which are divided equally between in-service doctors and the All-India quota.
The government has reserved the 114 DNB seats for in-service doctors, those working under the Health and Family Welfare Department. In case there is no eligible in-service doctor, the seats can be re-distributed to non-service doctors. However, the government has already reduced this number by 65 seats, which is being resented by aspirants.
‘Karnataka Government is out to please Union Government, private colleges’
In 2021-22, Karnataka had got 114 DNB seats for in-service doctors. But, the State Government gave back more than 100 seats before the second round of counselling, citing lack of demand.
Following an outrage in the Assembly, Minister for Health, Family Welfare and Medical Education Dr. K. Sudhakar wrote to the Union Government to get back the seats. However, NBE had by then converted those seats into national quota seats and allotted them to students across India.
“While Tamil Nadu uses every seat allotted to them, it is unfortunate that in Karnataka, the government seems keen to please the Union Government and private colleges, betraying the interests of aspirants. We do not understand why they cut the number of these seats. If there are not enough eligible in-service doctors, the remaining seats can be re-distributed to non-service doctors,” said one of the aspirants to these seats.