A last-minute decision by the Medical Council of India to roll back the number of MBBS seats at the Government Medical College and Hospital in Sector 32 from 100 to 50, sparked off protests by parents and candidates during the counselling on Monday.
Upset parents and candidates surrounded the counsellors and raised anti-college slogans, bringing the proceedings to a halt. For many hours, disorder prevailed in the counselling hall.
The parents said that the rollback meant that many candidates would not only not get admission in GMCH, but they had also missed the chance to apply in other colleges where counselling was scheduled for Monday. CMC in Ludhiana was one such college, they said.
In the afternoon, college director Dr Atul Sachdev met parents and told them that the MCI had informed them about the rollback only in the morning. It was after this that the counselling resumed. The college has scheduled a second round of counselling for July 18.
Dr Sachdev said some of the reasons which led to the MCI decision were “less number of lockers, the small size of lecture theatres with a capacity of 80 seats instead of 100, shortage of space in the anatomy laboratories, and common demonstration rooms of a few laboratories’’.
Terming these “petty issues’’, Dr Sachdev said, “We have enough number of faculty members, we have state-of-the-art education facilities. We will pursue the matter with the council as it involves the future of several students.”
The MCI had increased the number of seats in the college to 100 for one year last year. But its prospectus gave an impression that the number of seats was again going to be 100 this year. It read, “As per notification of MCI, dated July 31, 2013, the number of MBBS seats at GMCH was increased to 100 for the year 2013. Tentative number of MBBS seats for the admission year 2014 is likely to remain 100, subject to any further direction or order from the MCI or the Central Government.”
The parents and candidates alleged that the college had misled them, and some of them threatened to drag it to court.
Kurrun Singh Sekhon from the USA, who was at number five on the merit list for the NRI quota, was very sure about his admission as, according to the prospectus, there were six seats for NRIs. But after the rollback, the number of NRI seats is reduced to three. So, Sekhon now can’t get admission.
Similarly, S Aggarwal, whose state rank was 54, now can’t get admission. Her mother Anju said, “We were so confident about our daughter’s admission in GMCH-32 that we did not go to four other medical colleges, including CMC, Ludhiana, and Kasturba Medical College, Manipal.’’