Deemed universities and private colleges across the country are staring at a huge crisis of unfilled undergraduate medical seats under the new system of centralised counselling introduced under the Supreme Court’s orders this year.
As the third round of counselling comes to an end on Thursday, more than 50% of MBBS seats and almost 85% of dental seats in these institutes are still vacant.
The final mop-up of vacant seats is scheduled for August 28 (after 5 pm) and the admission process comes to an end on August 31. These institutes fear that a majority of their seats will remain unfilled as, under the new rules, these universities will not be allowed to admit students on their own. Sources said even in government colleges nearly a third of the 15% seats under the all-India quota has remained vacant till now.
However, unlike deemed universities and private colleges, government institutions will get a chance to fill these seat as these will be transferred to the states. A senior health ministry official said the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), which is conducting the counselling, will seek legal opinion on how to resolve the crisis of unfilled seats.
While this may come as a ray of hope for medical aspirants, what is troubling the deemed universities is the new matrix of counselling, under which these institutes will have to go by the DGHS list even after the final transfer of seats. According to the head of a private medical college in Karnataka, “We have 200 MBBS seats, of which 30 are for NRIs. In this category, we have filled just one seat. Of the 170 general seats, 89 have been filled after DGHS counselling till the mop-up round. In BDS, we have filled 29 out of 100 seats.”
“After the mop-up round, which is getting over tomorrow, the seats will be transferred to the deemed universities.
And for every 10 vacant seats, DGHS will release a list of 100 candidates (10 times higher). But when a similar process during the first three rounds has yielded next to nothing, we expect less than 10% of the vacant seats to be filled. Till last year, deemed universities had the option of choosing their students,” said the vicechancellor of a deemed university in Hyderabad.
The admissions are being conducted based on NEETUG, 2017. “The counselling has been undertaken as per the apex court’s order and guidelines, and no changes are possible to tackle the issue of unfilled seats. We are going to seek legal opinion and also approach the court again. Otherwise there is a possibility of up to 12,000 seats remaining unfilled this year,” said a senior DGHS official.