KEA may conduct common counselling for all medical, dental seats

Aspiring undergraduate and postgraduate medical and dental students can heave a sigh of relief as the government is said to have decided to conduct common counselling for admissions through the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET).

The Karnataka Examination Authority (KEA) will have sole control over allotment of all medical and dental seats in the state. This was revealed by an official who attended a meeting chaired by Minister for Medical Education Dr Sharanprakash Patil here on Thursday.

Earlier, the Consortium of Medical Engineering and Dental Colleges of Karnataka (Comed-K), deemed universities and minority colleges intended to conduct separate counselling for their seats. Only the counselling for government-quota seats was to be conducted by KEA. Except for government seats, deemed universities and minority colleges have demanded that they should be given the liberty to fix the fees.

Several rounds of discussions were held between the government and private colleges. Patil then met representatives of Comed-K, deemed universities and minority colleges who consented for single counselling for PG and UG seats, the official said.

Dr S Kumar, secretary of the consortium of deemed universities and executive secretary of Comed-K, said, “We were concerned about the capability of KEA to conduct counselling for close to 3,500 PG seats. Till now, they conducted counselling for only around 1,000 seats and that too, for students from Karnataka,” said Kumar.

To allay their apprehensions, a software test was conducted and the private college representatives were reasonably convinced, he said. This decision will soon be announced in the cabinet meeting and in the Assembly.

According to Kumar, the process of applying for PG-NEET counselling will reopen on Friday, so that students from outside the state can also apply with their all-India PG-NEET ranks. Students from Karnataka who had not applied for the counselling will also get a chance.

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