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Medical counselling for general category begins

Candidates who took admission in deemed universities upset that they weren’t allowed to participate

The first day of general counselling began on Friday with quite a few upset parents demanding that their children be allowed to participate. These candidates had already obtained seats through counselling conducted by the Director General of Health Services, for seats in deemed universities and those under all India quotas.

The candidates and their parents blamed the State for delaying the counselling which forced them to take seats in deemed medical colleges. A parent said, “My son is a topper, yet he has not been allowed to participate in the counselling.” Another parent said, “It was the State government that delayed the counselling. So it should ensure our children are permitted to participate now.”

‘Following court verdict’

Parents waved a notification from the Central government demanding the State review its decision. Health secretary J. Radhakrishnan, who distributed the allotment order to the top 10 candidates admitted to the government medical colleges in the State, said, “We are following the court verdict in the Dar-us-Salaam case. We went back to the DGHS and sought clarification after several parents approached us. They said the State cannot overturn the Centre’s rules.”

But disappointed parents and students remained rooted in the counselling hall in the hope of persuading the officials to change their mind. Counselling was considerably slow for the first three hours, with just a few hundreds of the 1,209 candidates called for the counselling turned up. Quite a few of the students who got seats on Friday had passed Plus II either in 2015 or 2016.

The candidate who managed to bag the first seat at Madras Medical College, Ashfaq Sulaiman A, is ranked 27th in the State NEET merit list with a score of 594. The candidate from Tirunelveli, who passed Class XII two years ago opted out of engineering counselling and prepared for NEET, said his father.

Arushi Agarwal, who hails from Uttar Pradesh and among the top 10 to secure a seat in MMC, said she had studied from Class VIII to XII in Tamil Nadu, making her eligible for a seat under the State quota.

Adithya M, who had a cut-off of 192, had chosen ceramic technology in Anna University. “I attended classes for two weeks before medical counselling happened,” said Adithya, who had scored 577 in NEET.


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