Sunday, August 11, 2013

Government's decision on doubling medical PG seats might be impractical

Government's decision on doubling

 medical PG seats might be impractical

PANAJI: The state government's submission to the Supreme Court (SC) that it wants to retain both groups of postgraduate students-those selected through the national entrance-cum-eligibility test (NEET) and those admitted via the MBBS merit list-is probably a ploy to silence critics by throwing the ball into the court of the Medical Council of India (MCI).
Sources in the know of admissions at the Goa Medical College say the state's attempt to double the PG seats in such a short time is impractical.
"Getting permission from the MCI to increase seats is a long-drawn process. This move to increase seats is therefore only an attempt to shut up critics," said sources.

Explaining, they said the GMC presently has 85 PG seats, of which 43 are for the all-India quota and the balance for Goa. To accommodate both sets of students, GMC needs at least 31-35 more seats. But to get the increase, a request has to first be made to the union ministry of health and family welfare, which in turn informs MCI.

MCI then sends a team to inspect the institute's infrastructure and to assess if it has the capacity to make the necessary changes to accommodate an increased student-load. The entire procedure, before MCI grants permission, takes about six to nine months, at times even a year. The number of beds and overall patient turnover at the institute is also considered before permission is granted. Moreover, any request to increase seats for an academic year, whether for undergraduate or postgraduate courses, has to be made in advance, stressed sources.

"The government's attempt to admit all PG students is a shabby move to cover its blunder," said a PG student, who believes it is highly improbable that MCI will agree with the state government at this stage. The PG academic year began on June 25.

Another student opined, "If MCI grants the Goa government request as a special case, it will be flooded with similar requests from other medical colleges in the country."

Health minister Laxmikant Parsekar merely said the matter is sub-judice, adding, "The SC will do justice to all."

Things are expected to be clear on August 13, when the matter comes up for hearing in the apex court and the MCI, which has been made a party in the petition, gives its say.

PG students selected via NEET, meanwhile, gave their joining letters on Thursday, but said, they will formally join classes from Saturday. "Friday being a holiday (Eid) we have not attended classes," a student said.

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