With one-sixth of postgraduate doctors scheduled to pass out of the country’s premier medical institute on December 31, counselling for the 2018 session is yet to begin at All India Institute Medical Sciences. Senior officials, however, confirmed that the process, which has been delayed for the first time, will start in three days and be completed by the end of January. AIIMS, offering 112 postgraduate seats for 2018, on December 1 decided to conduct online counselling for the first time.
However, the counselling, usually held in December first week, is yet to begin for the new batch. Resident doctors raised concerns that the delay may cause shortage of doctors at the institute. AIIMS has cited “policy issues” related to six other AIIMS for the delay. AIIMS Delhi jointly conducts counselling for the six other institutes across the country.
“The last date of joining for the 2018 session is January 31. If we go after this date, there will be a delay. The offline counselling used to be held in the first week of December. We were getting a lot of representations earlier, that since over 1,000 candidates have to come from different parts of the country for just 100 seats, we decided to go online. However, six other AIIMS have, for the first time, started preferential postgraduate seats according to the Supreme Court’s orders, as per which some seats are reserved for AIIMS (MBBS) candidates,” a senior AIIMS official told The Indian Express.
“Earlier, a policy had to be made by each of the AIIMS and AIIMS Delhi could not interfere in it. The final software had to be developed keeping this is mind. This is more of a policy issue than a logistical one. The consultation took some time. The issue has been resolved, and in the next three or four days, we will start the process, which will be completed by January 31, the cut-off date,” the official said.
“Since it is being done for the first time, we were doing multiple checks. We are running the software and again crosschecking it. We are aware of candidates’ concerns. Once we run the first round, the second round will be smoother. We will be sending SMSes to candidates and in two-three days, the process will start,” the official said.
Meanwhile, Dr Harjit Singh Bhatti, president, Resident Doctors’ Association, AIIMS, said, “AIIMS Delhi is likely to face shortage of doctors because of the delay. This has never happened. All the issues should have been resolved before the administration decided to go online. The resident doctors are waiting to join but there is no clarity on the issue.”
AIIMS officials, however, maintained: “The delay is relative to the December dates. That is a misrepresentation that there will be shortage. Over three years, there are six sessions. Effectively, only one-sixth will leave the institute and the joining date of all doctors is not same,”