Upholding the Supreme Court’s mandated NEET guidelines from last year, the Medical Council of India (MCI) has nullified admissions given to 778 MBBS students in various private colleges across Puducherry in the year 2016 as the institutions were in gross violation of the prescribed norms of the admission process notified by the apex court, according to media reports. A total of three private colleges and four deemed universities were found to be in violation of the rules.
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As per a letter issued on September 7, 2017 by the MCI joint secretary Rajendra Wahale addressed to the Health Secretary of the Puducherry government, the colleges did not adhere to fairness and transparency in the admission process. The institutions admitted students illegally after the last date of admission, which was fixed to be September 30 by the Supreme Court and the MCI. Students who were not allotted seats by the Centralised Admission Committee (CENTAC), which holds the responsibility of preparing a list of successful candidates and monitoring the admissions process on behalf of the state government.
The Puducherry Lieutenant governor Kiran Bedi, after receiving several complaints from the parents of meritorious students denied admissions due to the collusion of college authorities, had taken up the case with the MCI and the Government. According to the parents, out of 1200 students who joined the undergraduate courses in 2016, 778 were given admission overlooking the top court’s decree on the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET).
President of Puducherry UT All Centac Students Parents Association, M Narayanassamy, had written to Bedi and demanded that a committee led by retired judge, Chitra Venkatraman, be formed to look into the charges. The MCI’s Monitoring Sub-Committee (MSC) subsequently launched a probe into the allegations and took into consideration Bedi’s letter as well as a report written by Venkatraman.
Outlining deficiencies in the entire admission process, Venkatraman’s report stated that the colleges arbitrarily admitted students in complete violation of the Supreme Court’s orders as the meritorious students deserving admission were denied seats.
"The UGC sent a letter dated September 15, 2016 to all deemed universities that they shall be part of common counselling for admission in medical courses organised either by a state government or through its agency based on marks obtained by NEET.The colleges have not followed this process even for admissions made after this date. This reinforces the observation of the MSC that the transparency and fairness were probably the last things on the minds of the authorities of the colleges", Wahale was quoted saying in media reports.
The parents association also questioned the MCI’s failure to take appropriate action against the erring colleges. The colleges however have denied any irregularities in the admissions process and claim that they followed the prescribed guidelines set by CENTAC. It remains to be seen whether the students intend to fight to hold their seats or if the culpable institutions will be held accountable in the latest case to affect the NEET process.
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