778 medical students’ admission cancelled: Blame game begins
The Medical Council of India’s decision to cancel admission of 778 medical students in Puducherry has sparked blame game among various government authorities.
Chief minister V Narayanasamy blamed the MCI and a court-appointed Permanent Admission Committee (PAC) for the fiasco, while the lieutenant governor Kiran Bedi accused the state government of turning a blind eye to irregularities in private medical colleges.
The HT had first reported on September 13 that the MCI seconded the PAC’s report on large scale bungling in admission process and cancelled more than 70% admissions made last year in all seven private medical colleges in the state.
All the 778 candidates who have been discharged were in the second year of their MBBS course.
The MCI in a September 7 letter, cancelling the admissions, said the colleges “haven’t demonstrated any evidence of fairness and transparency in the admission process...”
The order was issued after Bedi complained that merit was sacrificed for money while giving the admission.
A probe ordered by her after receiving complaints from parents found that of the 1,200 students who joined the bachelor of medicine, bachelor of surgery, or MBBS, in 2016, 778 were admitted overlooking the top court’s directives on the national eligibility-cum-entrance test (NEET).
Talking to HT over phone from the state capital Pondicherry, Narayanasamy said that his government-appointed central admission committee (Centac) conducted counselling only for those who sought admission under the state quota.
The MCI didn’t find any anomalies in that process, he added.
As for the irregularities in the all-India or management quota, the chief minister said: “The responsibility to monitor the admission process for the same lies with the MCI and PAC.”
He said as per the last year’s norms, the state government was supposed to forward all the applications of candidates seeking admission under all-India quota to the colleges’ management.
“The MCI and PAC were supposed to monitor the admission process. The state government has no role in the admissions,” Narayanasamy said. .
Narayanasamy also vented his ire on the BJP government at the Centre for changing admission rules every year, saying it leads to confusion.
Lieutenant governor Kiran Bedi, who is caught in a tussle with the state’s Congress government on several issues, however refuted chief minister’s claim that the state government had no role in the admission process.
She said it was decided at a meeting she had with the chief minister, health minister and senior officials on September 1 last year that the state government would monitor the admission process through Centac.
Bedi produced minutes of the meeting to buttress her claim.
“Since the admission committee has itself withdrawn from supervising the admission process, government will monitor the admission process through Centac,” the minutes of the meeting recorded.
Bedi also alleged that the PAC reported large scale irregularities on October 21, 2016 but the state government “remained quiet.”
“Students suffered because issues were not addressed in a time-bound manner with a sense of urgency and integrity,” she said. “Government, bureaucracy and politicians have vested interest and that’s why the situation has come thus far,” she alleged.
She also demanded strict action against the erring colleges.