Admissions to undergraduate (UG) and postgraduate (PG) medical programmes at state level will now take place through a common counselling process for the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) 2017, the Ministry for Health and Family Welfare announced on Saturday, March 11. It was also clarified by the Ministry that the Directorate General of Health Services and the Medical Counselling Committees would continue to organize counselling for the All India Quota seats at UG and PG levels.
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According to the Ministry’s press release, necessary amendments have been made to the Medical Council of India (MCI) regulations as per which an authority shall now be appointed at state level to oversee the counselling process for all medical institutions in the state, regardless of how that institution had been established. “As per the amendments made in the relevant regulations of MCI, the designated authority at the State/UT level shall conduct common counselling for all medical education institutions in the State whether established by the Central Government, State Government, University, Deemed University, Trust, Society, Company, Minority Institutions or Corporation”, the press release reads.
The reason for introducing common counselling at state level as given by the Ministry is to make the admission process more transparent and to prevent private colleges from charging capitation fees. Also, this will ensure that students will no longer need to approach multiple agencies for the purpose of securing admissions to medical colleges in the same state.
The initiative to conduct common counselling for medical college admissions had already been taken by the Ministry last year. After the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) had conducted NEET (UG) 2016, the Ministry issued an advisory on August 9, 2016, telling all states it was preferable to conduct combined counselling for MBBS admissions for the 2016-17 academic session.
The University Grants Commission (UGC) had followed up on this in September when it directed all Deemed universities to become a part of common counselling for admissions in common courses organized by the concerned Government or its agencies on the basis of NEET marks. Read the full story.
The Ministry went on to release the same advisory for PG courses on December 5, but in the context of 2017-18 admissions.
Legally in force
The reason due to which the Ministry could only issue advisories was because the counselling process had not been covered under any regulations until date. However, with the recent amendments made to the Graduate Medical Education Regulations, 1997, and the Post Graduate Medical Education Regulation, 2000, common counselling for NEET UG and NEET PG have now been legally enabled.
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