Counselling cancellation triggers protests

Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: Following the cancellation of counselling for postgraduate paramedical seats twice in a row, confusion prevailed on the Kilpauk Medical College campus and at the Directorate of Medical Education office.

Officials gheraoed

Irate parents and students -- some of them had come from other districts for the counselling -- gheraoed officials of the Selection Committee at the college. Some others protested in front of the DME’s office. The police intervened to sort out the issue.

The decision to cancel the counselling was taken on Monday after a scheduled counselling for applicants for M.Sc (Nursing) went awry.

Confusion over criteria

The Selection Committee decided to call off the counselling after confusion arose about criteria for application and start afresh in July. They also decided to cancel counselling for all paramedical PG courses, including Physiotherapy and Pharmacology, as reported by The Hindu on Tuesday.

P. Balaji, an applicant for M.Pharm, said no student had been intimated about the change in schedule. “They have our e-mail ids and mobile numbers. They could have at least sent mails or SMS us. We waited for over an hour, but had no idea why the counselling had not begun yet. There was no notice either. Some of us went to the nearby bank to get a DD for the counselling and at the bank we were told that counselling had been cancelled.”

Alphonse, from Neyvelli, who was waiting along with his daughter said, “Only after 10 a.m. did one official from the Selection Committee come over to tell us that the counselling had been cancelled.” That was when the confusion began, with parents and students accusing the committee of not being transparent.

Finally, a notice was pasted at the KMC auditorium and officials attested that counselling would be held later on all the candidates’ individual call letters.

Private colleges

Another point, reduction in the number of private colleges surrendering seats to the government, was also raised. K. Shahul Hameed, who had accompanied his daughter to the counselling, said only 14 private colleges were listed against last year’s 19.

Selection Committee Secretary Sheela Grace said that prior intimation could not have been provided to the students as the decision was taken only late on Monday. She said that the committee would check if the private colleges had issues regarding authorisation.