Angry students delay Comed-K counselling

Accusing Comed-K of “backtracking” on its promise of giving 42 per cent seats in all disciplines at the 19 colleges under its ambit, students staged a protest and demanded an “unambiguous” seat matrix.

Out of the total 395 seats in nine disciplines of dentistry, 42 per cent or 167 seats were to be offered to students who wrote the entrance test conducted by Comed-K.

But when the seat matrix was released, confusion reigned over the total number of available seats as the 42 per cent quota was not applied uniformly to all the disciplines.

While as little as 22 and 30 per cent seats respectively were offered in the most sought-after disciplines like endodontics and orthodontics against the promised 42 per cent, non-clinical disciplines like prosthodontics, oral pathology, and oral medicine (that have few takers) had 44, 50, and 60 per cent respectively seats.

In endodontics and orthodontics disciplines at most colleges, the management quota (Non-resident Indians/Industrial Preference) exceeded its limit of 25 per cent seats and had as many as 75 per cent seats. In the words of a guardian, who wished to remain unnamed, “it was day-light looting” by Comed-K.

Upset over this, students staged a protest and demanded a fair share. Activists of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad too joined in the scene. The number of seats available through the entrance exam was already reduced from 47 to 42 per cent, with the difference going to the management quota. And this “pinching” only hurt the students’ chances of securing a seat.

Later at 6 pm, representatives of the students met Dr A R Aruna, Director of Medical Education, who was present on the occasion and sought the promised 42 per cent seats in all disciplines.

Following this, the changed seat matrix was announced. Accordingly, seats in endodontics and orthodontics were increased. While only 16 and 13 seats respectively were offered in orthodontics and endodontics earlier, the number of seats later was increased to 20 and 24. Consequently, the number of seats in pedodontics and oral surgery was reduced from 30 and 26 to 22 and 23, in that order. As a result, counselling finally began at 6.30 pm.

As per a Supreme Court order, the counselling has to be completed by midnight. As per latest reports, more than 100 seats had been taken by the students.

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