Saturday, April 6, 2013

Postgraduate admissions at AFMC held up for 2 months

Postgraduate admissions at AFMC held up for 2 months-TIMES OF INDIA REPORT

PUNE: The admission process for the postgraduate medical, dental and super specialty courses at the Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC), Pune, has been held up for over two months in the wake of the ongoing legal proceedings in the Supreme Court over the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET).

The NEET, introduced from academic year 2013-14 by the Medical Council of India (MCI), is the single entrance test for admissions to medical and dental postgraduate (PG) and undergraduate courses at institutions across the country. While NEET-UG (for undergraduate courses) is scheduled for May 5, the maiden NEET-PG was conducted online from November 23 to December 6, 2012.

However, the NEET-PG results, initially slated for release on January 31, are yet to be declared owing to the embargo put by the Supreme Court. The apex court is seized of a bunch of writ petitions by medical institutions, mostly deemed universities, challenging the entire NEETscheme.

Authorities at PG medical and dental institutions, including a couple of deemed universities based in the city, are anxious about when the admission process can be completed. The MCI has scheduled commencement of classes for all PG courses from May 2, while the cut-off date for all PG admissions is May 31. Any delay in admissions is bound to affect the academic training schedules.

"We would like to stay on course, considering that no one appreciates delays," a senior AFMCofficial said while speaking to TOI on Friday. "For now, we do not have any choice but to wait for the results... We are continuing with the documentation related to university registration, number of seats to be utilised, assignment of research guides, etc, with a hope that we will get all our PG students in time," he added. The AFMC is affiliated to the Maharashtra University of Health Sciences.

According to the official, close to 4,000 candidates are vying for the 205 PG and super specialty seats at the AFMC, which accounts for the largest chunk of the total seats at all institutions of the Armed Forces Medical Services in the country. Of these, 164 are MD/MS course seats, 23 are PG diploma seats, 10 are super specialty DM and MCH seats and eight are MS in dental seats, he said.

Till last year, the PG and super specialty seats at the AFMC were being filled through an all India centralised admission test (CAT-PG), which would be conducted for all AFMS institutions on the third Sunday of January every year.

From this year though, the AFMS decided to join the NEET-PG, which is conducted by the National Board of Examination.

The official said, "At the time of enrolment for NEET-PG, the candidates were given the option in the form

to select AFMC if they plan to undertake their studies at the college. Only those candidates who have taken this option will be considered for admissions based on a separate merit list which theNational Board of Examination will give us for the purpose. Of the 90,000-odd candidates who appeared for the NEET-PG, close to 4,000 candidates have taken the AFMC option."

He said, "After the NEET-PG results are declared, we will categorise these 4,000 candidates into five priorities, such as serving officers, government doctors and civil doctors, and the seat allotment will take place as per these priorities."

Other AFMS institutions like the Air Force Command Hospital, Bangalore, Army Hospital Research and Referral, New Delhi, INS Ashwini and Command Hospitals in Kolkata, Chandi Mandir and Lucknow are also awaiting the NEET-PG results, he said. However, these institutions have fewer PG seats compared to the AFMC, which has the prime responsibility of rolling out trained medical graduates for all three wings of the armed services

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