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Medical counselling mired in legal tangles, aspirants wary 

Faridkot, August 4

Confusion prevailed in all eight medical, 15 dental colleges in the state after the Medical Education Department could not start admissions to MBBS and BDS courses even two months after the announcement of NEET result. 

While the MBBS and BDS classes for the 2019 academic session in many of the neighbouring states have already started, the Medical Education Department, Punjab, is yet to announce the new date for starting of counselling for the first round of admission. 

DK Tiwari, principal secretary, Medical Education Department, said the delay in starting the counselling was due to some court cases. Now after getting legal opinion, Baba Farid University of Health Sciences (BFUHS), will start the counselling.  

However, Dr Arvind Sharma, registrar, BFUHS, said the university would start the counselling after there was a notification from the Medical Education Department.

On July 24, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had directed Medical Education Department to issue a fresh notification providing for 1 per cent reservation/quota for children/grandchildren of victims of terrorism in all private unaided, non-minority medical and dental colleges in the state. However, 10 days down the line, the department is yet to issue the notification.

OP Soni, Minister of Medical Education, said a meeting had been convened to discuss the issue.

A day after NEET-2019 result was declared, the department had made a notification on June 6 and on the basis of this notification, the Registrar, BFUHS, had asked aspirants to give their preference by June 25. On June 27, the Registrar extended the date to July 5. The result of the first round of counselling was to be declared on July 8 and candidates were to join the allotted colleges by July 12. 

Again on July 4, the fresh schedule of the first round of counselling was released, inviting candidates to give preference by July 8 and selected candidates were to join allotted colleges by July 15. There was another extension on July 9 and July 11, informing the aspirants about the keeping of the counselling on hold till further orders On July 15, there was a public notice, announcing to keep the counselling process in abeyance till July 19 on the directions of the state Medical Education Department. 

While the MBBS and BDS classes in many states had already started, Punjab was yet to start their admissions. For this uncertainty, many students had taken admission in private colleges in other states, alleged parents of a few students.

Besides the litigation marring the admission process, changing of portfolio of Secretary and Minister of the Medical Education Department during the counselling process is attributed as one on the main reason for the delay as the new incumbents were yet to understand the nitty-gritty of the admission. 

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