Delay on NEET worries PG aspirants

The delay in clearing the air on the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) by the Supreme Court has cost aspirants to post-graduate study in medicine precious time. Students across the country have staged protests against the delay.
The Postgraduate Medical Education Regulations listed by the Medical Council of India (MCI) state that universities cannot admit wait-listed students beyond May 31 after which vacant seats cannot be filled.
There is growing concern among 12,000-odd students who appeared for the examination from the state in November 2012 that the mid-year vacation for the apex court from mid-May to June 21 will delay the decision further. Nearly 38,000 students from all over the country appeared for the DNB CET in January this year. The MCI has completed the presentation of arguments and the case has been adjourned to April 25 for the next hearing.
“We appeared for APPG on March 17 and for the DNB-CET and NEET earlier this year. All the results are pending due to the pendency of the case in the Supreme Court. Usually,  classes for post-graduate students begin by March 1 in case of all-India examinations while colleges in state commence their year by May 2. We have already suffered a delay of two months,” said Abuzar, a candidate. A large section of aspirants are seeking employment in private hospitals while some hope to make it through by ‘ensuring’ a seat in deemed universities outside the state.
Private medical colleges in the state which had proposed conducting a separate examination for admission to post-graduate courses have not heard from the state government. “There is no response yet and the rumours about sale of management quota seats are false,” said Dr G.Bhaskar Rao, chairman of All India Un-aided Medical Colleges and Universities Association.
However students allege that a management quota seat in radiology costs around Rs 1.5 crore in the state. Of the 1,800 post-graduate seats, around 600 are in private medical colleges and the rest in government  colleges.
“Andhra Pradesh lacks deemed medical universities and many students opt for NRI or donation seats in other states. A deemed university in Tamil Nadu is charging around Rs 4 crore for a seat in radiology and Rs 2 crore for general medicine course. Every year, government colleges in the state have a few seats vacant due to the absence of third round of counselling for post-graduate courses in medicine. We have also given a representation to the state government in this respect as each state makes or breaks a student’s life,” says Dr I. Abhilash of Gandhi Medical College and president of AP Junior Doctors Association (APJUDA).  Instead of lessening the burden on students, confusion over the examinations is making candidates spend Rs 50,000 each as application fees for various examinations.

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