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Don’t have wealth, can’t study health

It is for the first time in Punjab’s history that MBBS seats have gone abegging just because the fee is too high for the management quota. No wonder, there were many dejected faces at the Baba Farid University of Health Sciences (BFUHS), Faridkot, on Monday.

chandigarh Updated: Sep 09, 2014 11:58 IST
Vishav Bharti

It is for the first time in Punjab’s history that MBBS seats have gone abegging just because the fee is too high for the management quota.

No wonder, there were many dejected faces at the Baba Farid University of Health Sciences (BFUHS), Faridkot, on Monday as a large number of eligible candidates could not get admission just because the fee was way above their resources.

The Punjab medical education department early this year had arbitrarily hiked the MBBS fee, especially in private medical colleges, on the recommendation of the Dr KK Talwar committee.

After the final counselling, there are still 41 MBBS seats in the state that have not been filled though there are more than 300 eligible candidates for these seats.

Shefali Sharma, daughter of a school teacher from Jalandhar, secured the 1,052nd rank and was eligible for the management quota seat in several medical colleges of the state. She said, “I qualified the examination but cannot become a doctor. What is my fault?”

Her father, Ashwani Sharma, said the Rs 6.6 lakh annual fee is much more than his gross annual salary. “How can I even think of admitting her under the management quota?” he wondered.Prachi from Mandi Gobindgarh, who secured 837th rank in the state merit, couldn’t get a seat. Her father, Naginder Kumar, who is small-time trader, said, “It is beyond my means. If not doctor, she will become something else, or whatever she is destined to be.”

There were several such cases on the BFUHS campus on Monday. A total of 1,318 candidates had qualified for admission to the MBBS in the state. And a total of 1,070 seats were available.

However, after the third and final counselling, only 1,029 seats were filled and 41 seats were left vacant. All these seats are from the management quota of Adesh University, Bathinda.

Under the management quota, the applicants have to pay Rs 6.6 lakh annual fee, which will increase 10% every year, and by the fifth year it will reach Rs 9.66 lakh.

Taking a note of the situation, the BFUHS authorities called a meeting of the parents of the candidates who refused to take admission.

And the fact that came to the fore was that they had refused to take admission only because of the high fee that was beyond their means.

BFUHS vice-chancellor Dr SS Gill confirmed that the seats remained vacant as the parents of many candidates were not able to afford the education under the management quota.

“We called all parents and asked them about the reason and common refrain was that the fee was way too high.”He said it had never been noticed in the history of the state that the MBBS seats under any quota had remained vacant due to high fee.