Kerala Kaumudi Online
Friday, 23 February 2024 7.42 PM IST

Counselling should be done without affecting reservation


The National Medical Council's decision to conduct MBBS admissions only through unified counselling from next year has generated mixed reactions. The introduction of a unified examination on a national basis by stopping the entrance examination conducted by the states has eliminated many malpractices in this field. The admission process is conducted at present by the state admission commissioners based on the rank in the 'NEET' exam. This practice will disappear with the transition to a unified system of counselling. Admission to all seats will be through centralized counselling from next year.

The new admission method will certainly help to make the admission process completely transparent. At the same time, admission should be ensured without even a scratch on the reservation norms in force in the states. Many centres are concerned about this issue. Further clarification in this regard will be required when the Medical Council takes over the counselling completely. Reservations and criteria vary from state to state. Therefore, admission procedures should be designed in such a way that children belonging to reserved communities are not disadvantaged in any way. For this, the Medical Council has sought the services of experts on the subject of reservation in each state. If the criteria are prepared in consultation with each other, objections and complaints can be avoided later. Medical Council should maintain the norms currently followed for reservation in the respective state to proceed with uniform admission.

With the implementation of unified counselling for MBBS and PG admissions, the state rank list will become irrelevant. Medical Council will provide admission to all seats including All India Quota and NRI seats. The new system will help reduce the current delay in admissions. Some irregularities that are remaining in the field of admission will also be curbed. Uniform counselling will also be a backlash on self-financing managements looking for loopholes to give admission to those who are far behind in the ranks.

States like Tamil Nadu, which insists that there is no need for an entrance exam for medical admissions, are also strongly opposed to this new admission method. Tamil Nadu's allegation that the Center is encroaching on the powers of the states and imposing multiple conditions was rejected even by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court had also ruled that the existence of the 'NEET' examination was essential.

One cannot ignore the changes that happened since the introduction of the 'NEET' exam in a country where there are many people who are willing to shell out crores if not lakhs to get a medical seat in any way. The new system has been able to eliminate many malpractices, irregularities and per-head fees in the field of medical admissions. With uniform counselling, justice can be ensured in the matter of admission to all the deserving ones.

What remains to be seen is whether uniformity is possible in medical fees as well. Fees vary from state to state. There are fee determination committees for this in the states but there is no uniformity. When admission becomes all-India level, children's choice of college will be limited. The Center that is insisting that everything should be transparent, should also come up with norms for medical fees that should apply to the entire country.

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