About 150 out of 519 MBBS students from various Indian medical colleges who were thrown out by the Medical Council of India (MCI) for violating Supreme Court orders on counselling before admissions protested outside Union health minister J P Nadda’s residence on Wednesday.
In Delhi, the protesting students, some with parents, said they were getting desperate and would not know what to do if justice was denied to them. One of the parents said the students had stopped eating and drinking, many were depressed..
A Supreme Court had in an order on September 28, 2016, directed that all admissions had to be done after counselling by the state governments.The students were asked by MCI to leave as they had been admitted without counselling in 17 medical colleges in the country out of which 14 were in Uttar Pradesh.
Many of the students already in MBBS programmes for three months were shocked to get notices from MCI asking them to vacate their seats. Those protesting in Delhi said they were forced to go for direct admissions despite high scores in the tough medical college entrance test NEET ( National Eligibility cum Entrance Test) as the counselling process was “too slow” and they had not managed to get admission till October 6, 2016, a day before the last date of counselling. All of the 519 students took direct admission on October 7.
Shekhar Tripathy 26, studying in Hind Medical College near Lucknow, says his dreams are shattered. “We were attending classes for the last three months and all of a sudden MCI served us letters to cancel our admissions. All my relatives, family members and friends know that I am pursuing MBBS and I will become a doctor. Now what will I tell them? I have no options left,” he said, tears in his eyes.
Tripathy says his dream of becoming a doctor is well and truly over with the cancellation of his admission for the 2016 session. The health ministry’s directive to fix an upper age limit of 25 for NEET from 2017 does not allow him to write the exam again.
“What do I do?” he asks.
As of now, no one has any answers for him.
Guru Dutt , studying in FH Medical College, Agra, says, “It’s the state government’s fault if it could not conduct counselling efficiently. MCI should have taken a considerate view. We have scored more marks then those students who were admitted through counselling.”
Another student, Megha Gupta, says they will continue their protests.
“It was our bad luck that the minister (Nadda) was in Kullu (Himachla Pradesh) when we protested outside his house. But we will meet MPs and continue to protest till we get justice. We have already written a letter to the PM,” Gupta adds.
In what has also come as a big setback for the students is that the Supreme-Court appointed Oversight Committee has also approved MCI’s decision to cancel 519 admissions.
“I don’t think there is any scope for these students now. The only option they have is to file a case in the Supreme Court,” a senior health ministry official says.