Seat forfeiture penalty scares many
Fine fixed at Rs one lakh for PG degree seat, Rs 50,000 for diploma seat
The huge increase in the penalty for forfeiting a seat after picking it caused resentment among a section of students as the counselling for postgraduate medical courses commenced at the Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences (RGUHS) here on Monday.
The State Department of Medical Education had increased the penalty to discourage seat blocking, a menace that deprives many meritorious students of seats.
The increase was decided in 2011, but effected only this year. Every student, including in-service candidates, has to pay Rs one lakh for PG degree and Rs 50,000 for PG diploma courses if he/she takes allotment orders during first round of counseling, but fails to join the course. The fine, however, is not imposed for changing the subject in the second/de-categorise round.
If the student fails to attend the course even after second round of counselling a fine of Rs five lakh for degree and Rs 2.5 lakh for diploma will be levied. Also, the student will be debarred for three years from appearing for any entrance test.
The new development did see a stir on the first day of the medical counselling. Pradhyuth Tiwari, the third rank-holder from Lucknow, withdrew his registration and verification after learning that he would have to cough up the penalty if he blocked the seat.
He was also unhappy with May 21 being set as the last date for reporting to college. Tiwari found the date “too early”. He had secured 538th rank in the All India Medical Entrance Exam. “RGUHS did not announce the last date of admission on the website. How can I decide on taking the seat in a week’s time? I also cannot afford to pay Rs one lakh if I forfeit the medical seat later,” Tiwari sulked.
An RGUHS official, however, suspected that Tiwari attended the counselling only to forfeit his seat to another student. Most medical students are totally against the seat blocking. But some others look out for such meritorious students to purchase seats from them. To curb these practices, the government has enforced stringent rules and imposed heavy penalties, the source pointed out.
According to Dr G S Venkatesh, In-charge Director, Medical Education, the department wanted to discourage students from the practice of blocking their seats. “Many seats go waste when seat blocking happens. The surrendered seats are later lapped up by the college authorities under the management quota. They sell the seats for a fortune,” Dr Venkatesh said.
Ram Badri, a student of M S Ramaiah College, welcomed the increase in forfeiture penalty, saying it would prevent seat blocking. “Only a few seats are available. So, it will help the most deserving candidates,” he opined.
Other students, however, are unimpressed. They said they were outraged at high forfeiture penalty. Lopamudra, who wanted to keep her options open, said, “the concept of a forfeiture adds a lot of stress on the candidates who have a chance of getting admission in a better college in the second or third round of counselling in other entrance tests.”
Nupur Dua found the forfeiture amount “unreasonably high”.
K M Adarsh, the first rank-holder from VIMS, Bellary, picked Radiodiagnosis at the Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute (BMCRI).
“Getting a Radiodiagnosis seat under general merit is like a dream come true. Although I wanted to take up Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Radiodiagnosis is the hot favourite and I did not want to miss the opportunity after securing first rank,” he said.
Berton Monteiro, the second rank-holder from KMC, Mangalore, opted for Radiodiagnosis in Mysore Medical College (MMC).
“Very few seats are available for Radiodiagnosis in the State. I wanted to choose Orthopaedics, but a Radiodiagnosis seat was simply irresistible,” he beamed.
Besides Radiodiagnosis, Orthopaedics, Radiotherapy, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, General Medicine and General Surgery, and Paediatrics are the favourite courses among the students.
BMCRI, MMC, Kempegowda Institute of Medical Sciences (Kims), and M S Ramaiah Medical College are the popular colleges.
* Total number of seats (PG degree and diploma): 741
* 1,000 students attended the counselling.
* 200 out of 504 seats taken under General Merit.
* Last rank-holder who took the seat: GM: 926; Cat-1: 594; 2A: 981; 3A: 545; 3B: 940; SC: 979; ST: 805