Counselling for MBBS, BDS seats put off by a week

State awaits MCI nod for increasing seats in five govt colleges by 400

Counselling for MBBS, BDS seats put off by a week

The State government has postponed counselling for admission to MBBS and BDS courses for the 2013-14 academic year, citing a delay in receiving the final approval from the Medical Council of India (MCI) for increasing the intake of students by 400 in five government medical colleges across Karnataka.

Counselling may be delayed by no less than a week and can begin only after June 27. The Department of Medical Education (DME), as per the original schedule, should have started counselling on June 21 and completed the process by June 24.

Dr G S Venkatesh, Director for Medical Education, confirmed to Deccan Herald that the counselling this year “may be delayed” until the DME “receives MCI assent” for increasing MBBS seats in government colleges at Bangalore, Bidar, Raichur, Hubli and Mysore. “We are awaiting the decision of the MCI Board of Governors pertaining to the increase in the intake, for preparing the seat matrix,” he said.

According to senior government officials, the MCI directive will be the keystone for the DME to prepare the number of available seats for undergraduate students. While the previously scheduled date of announcing the matrix for medical seats was June 15, it is now estimated that the DME may take time till June 20 or 21 to submit the matrix, depending upon the MCI approval for increasing the intake.

The MCI had not approved the government’s proposal to increase seats in the five medical colleges, after its assessment reports suggested that there was a severe shortage of basic infrastructure in the said institutes. Subsequently, the government last week gave an undertaking to the MCI that shortcomings in infrastructure would be overcome over the next year. Informed sources said the MCI report was part of a five-year assessment to give these colleges permanent recognition.

According to the DME, the total number of MBBS seats available in the State is 6,005, including 1,600 at government colleges. The number of seats in government colleges is inclusive of the 400 seats for which the MCI’s final approval is awaited. Under the matrix, the government is expected to provide 2,100 to 2,200 seats under the Common Entrance Test (CET), after deducting seats under the consensual agreement and the deemed university quota.

The delay might not have a direct impact on the academic year, well-informed sources said. However, with the All India Pre-Medical Test (AIPMT) likely to seek extension of the cut-off date by approaching the Supreme Court, the academic year is likely to be delayed. Under the AIPMT, 15 per cent of MBBS seats are reserved in each State. The Supreme Court had held that counselling for all medical seats be concluded by June 31.

The Karnataka Examinations Authority (KEA), which conducts the CET, could not be reached for comment.

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