Over 500 med­i­cal stu­dents lose seats in 17 col­leges

IN LIMBO MCI has al­leged that the col­leges ad­mit­ted stu­dents di­rectly, vi­o­lat­ing a Supreme Court or­der

Hindustan Times (Delhi) - HT Education - - Front Page - Jeevan Prakash Sharma HT Ed­u­ca­tion Cor­re­spon­dent

Med­i­cal ed­u­ca­tion reg­u­la­tor Med­i­cal Coun­cil of In­dia (MCI) has can­celled the ad­mis­sion of 519 MBBS stu­dents en­rolled in 17 col­leges and at­tend­ing classes for last three months.

MCI has al­leged that the col­leges ad­mit­ted stu­dents di­rectly, vi­o­lat­ing a Supreme Court or­der of Septem­ber 28, 2016, di­rect­ing the state gov­ern­ment to hold cen­tralised coun­selling and al­lot col­leges to stu­dents based on their per­for­mance in the Na­tional El­i­gi­bil­ity cum En­trance Test (NEET).

“While scru­ti­n­is­ing t he ad­mis­sions process, we found that 17 col­leges in three states have given di­rect ad­mis­sion to 519 stu­dents in vi­o­la­tion of the SC or­der,” a se­nior MCI of­fi­cial said in re­sponse to an RTI ap­pli­ca­tion filed by this cor­re­spon­dent.

The mat­ter was be­ing in­ves­ti­gated and more ad­mis­sion can­cel­la­tions were ex­pected. This is also the first time that such a large num­ber of stu­dents have been asked to leave the MBBS pro­gramme for not com­ply­ing with the ad­mis­sions process.

The high­est num­ber of vi­o­la­tions were in Ut­tar Pradesh by 14 col­leges giv­ing di­rect ad­mis­sion to 481 stu­dents. Kar­nataka, Mad­hya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu have one col­lege each with 38 stu­dents ad­mit­ted in to­tal.

The med­i­cal col­leges in­volved de­fended their move to ad­mit the stu­dents, say­ing the coun­selling process was very slow and fil­ing up seats by the ad­mis­sion dead­line (Oc­to­ber, 7, 2016, in this case) was not pos­si­ble. That was when they de­cided to give di­rect ad­mis­sion in­stead of let­ting seats go va­cant, col­lege au­thor­i­ties said.

KK Ag­gar­wal, pres­i­dent, In­dian Med­i­cal As­so­ci­a­tion, a body of med­i­cal prac­ti­tion­ers, de­mands strict ac­tion against the col­leges. “MCI should ini­ti­ate strict ac­tion against the col­leges for play­ing with the ca­reers of hun­dreds of stu­dents and ma­lign­ing the med­i­cal pro­fes- sion,” he says.

How­ever, Ag­gar­wal doesn’t want any sym­pa­thy with the stu­dents as well. “They are party to the vi­o­la­tion. Can­cel­la­tion of ad­mis­sion is a right de­ci­sion,” Ag­gar­wal. Stu­dents in­formed about can­cel­la­tion of their ad­mis­sions by the Med­i­cal Coun­cil of In­dia al­lege they have been mis­guided by their med­i­cal col­leges.

Hi­man­shu Mishra, 25, is among the 519 stu­dents who re­ceived dis­charge no­tices from MCI. An MBBS stu­dent in a col­lege near Luc­know since Oc­to­ber 7, 2016, he re­ceived the ad­mis­sion can­cel­la­tion no­tice on Jan­uary 27 this year.

“I am not el­i­gi­ble for the N at i o n a l E l i g i b i l i t y c u m En­trance Test (NEET) be­cause the gov­ern­ment has fixed 25 years as the up­per age to ap­pear in NEET,” he says.

Ko­mal, 21, from Agra too is dev­as­tated to lose her seat. “Why is MCI tak­ing ac­tion against just us? Why has no ac­tion been taken against col­leges that played with our ca­reers,” she asks.

Dr ( Ma­jor) Gul­shan Garg ( retd), chair man, Sankalp Char­i­ta­ble Trust, on the pe­ti­tion of which the Supreme Court had or­dered im­ple­men­ta­tion NEET, sides with the col­leges. “NEET was im­ple­mented for the first time in 2016 and coun­selling was not stream­lined. Our coun­try has an acute short­age of doc­tors. If col­leges took ad­mis­sion di­rectly, I think stu­dents should not be vic­timised for that.”

Garg blames all di­rec­tor gen­er­als – med­i­cal ed­u­ca­tion of the states con­cerned for the mess, but the chair­man, mon­i­tor­ing com­mit­tee, MCI, Prof Raj Ba­hadur, dis­agrees with him.

“We can­not al­low the col­leges to cir­cum­vent the ad­mis­sion process. Both stu­dents and col­leges have breached the law,” says Ba­hadur, who is also vice chan­cel­lor of the Baba Farid Univer­sity, Farid­kot.

The di­rec­tor gen­eral – med­i­cal ed­u­ca­tion in Ut­tar Pradesh didn’t re­spond to this cor­re­spon­dent’s mail.

A se­nior health min­istry of­fi­cial says such ad­mis­sions can be termed ‘back­door en­try’ to med­i­cal col­leges and de­serve to be can­celled. “Clear­ing NEET is not the only cri­te­ria to get the ad­mis­sion. More than 3.5 lakh stu­dents passed the NEET exam, but only 60,000 seats are avail­able,” he adds. Ap­pli­ca­tions are in­vited for the next round of Ful­bright-Kalam Cli­mate Fel­low­ships. These are awarded for doc­toral re­search, de­signed for In­dian schol­ars who are reg­is­tered for a PhD at an In­dian in­sti­tu­tion and post­doc­toral re­search, de­signed for In­dian fac­ulty and re­searchers who are in the early stages of their re­search ca­reers in In­dia.

The fel­low­ships will pro­vide op­por­tu­ni­ties to tal­ented fac­ulty and re­searchers to strengthen t heir re­search ca­pac­i­ties. Post­doc­toral fel­lows will have ac­cess to some of the finest re­sources in their ar­eas of in­ter­est and will help build long-term col­lab­o­ra­tive re­la­tion­ships with US fac­ulty and in­sti­tu­tions. These fel­low­ships are for eight to twelve months.

The doc­toral f el­low­ships are for six to nine months. The United States-In­dia Ed­u­ca­tional Foun­da­tion (USIEF) ad­min­is­ters the fel­low­ships on be­half of the In­dian and US gov­ern­ments.

These fel­low­ships pro­vide round-trip econ­omy class air travel be­tween In­dia and the US, a monthly stipend, ac­ci­dent and sick­ness pro­gramme for ex­changes as per US gov­ern­ment guide­lines, a mod­est set­tling-in al­lowance, and a pro­fes­sional al­lowance.

Ap­pli­ca­tion dead­line is July 17, 2017. Visit http://www.usief. org.in for more.

HT PHOTO

The mat­ter is be­ing in­ves­ti­gated and more ad­mis­sion can­cel­la­tions were ex­pected.

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