Rather than making space for a long queue of eligible candidates waiting to get admission in Punjab’s medical colleges, the state government has sought the Medical Council of India’s (MCI) permission to relax the criteria for MBBS admission to the around 100 seats in the NRI category. As per rules, if NRI aspirants do not qualify, the seats are to be converted to general pool.
After the second counselling concluded on July 27 at Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Faridkot, around 600 eligible candidates are waiting for admission; most of these are from the general category.
As per the admission criteria laid down in the advance, candidates who secured a minimum 50% marks (40% for Scheduled Castes) in the All India Pre-Medical Test (AIPMT) were considered eligible for admission in MBBS in the state’s medical colleges. Thus, 1,318 candidates qualified, and there were 150 candidates in the Scheduled Caste and other categories. The seats available are around 1,100. In the latest counselling, in the general category, candidates with AIPMT state rank down to 799 got admission.
The Association of Medical Aspirants, Punjab, said in a press release on Wednesday that some people were trying to create confusion and mislead government officials that approximately 50% seats were vacant because of unavailability of eligible candidates. ““The vacant MBBS seats mainly pertain to NRI category from which only three candidates could qualify as per the criteria. So, as per the prospectus and the past practice, these seats should go to the general pool and filled by the eligible candidates,” said Faridkot-based Dr Sanjeev Sethi of the association.
It was on the basis of a representation received from NRI candidates that the state medical education department had asked the MCI to relax the criteria as only three candidates could qualify against the around 100 seats.
“It is unfortunate and unethical to subvert the process of admissions in the favor of certain candidates, due to pressure of a bunch of people,” said Dr Sethi.
On the BDS course, he said that there was no doubt that eligible candidates were not available for BDS seats; “but the situation is not so with MBBS”. “The BDS issue has already been settled as the BFUHS is going to conduct a fresh examination,” he said.
Despite repeated attempts, Dr SS Gill, vice-chancellor of BFUHS, remained unavailable for comment.