“Make MBBS admissions online in Andhra”
Andhra Pradesh governor ESL Narasimhan on Monday had an hour-long meeting with the Union minister of health Gulam Nabi Azad. He discussed the auction of medical seats in private medical colleges for a cost of 70-80 lakhs. He is believed to have handed over a six-point proposal to make the admission transparent through internet admissions to MBBS.
For the past one week, the issue of auctioning medical seats is being debated in educational institutions and also in political circles.
Gulam Nabi Azad, who is ailing from slip disc assured the governor that the Union government would certainly look into these issues.
Narasimhan had half an hour meeting with the Union home minister P Chidambaram.
With Narasimhan expressing displeasure over the government allowing managements of private medical colleges to sell the seats at prices in the range of Rs 70 lakh to Rs 80 lakh, chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy conferred with minister for medical education Kondru Murali Mohan on
Thursday and decided to put in place a mechanism to prevent the ‘auction’ of medical seats.
Among the proposals that came up for discussion were introducing an online system even for filling management quota seats but as there is no software ready, the government appears to have abandoned the proposal and go in accordance with the existing system for this year. But it wants to ensure that rules are adhered to. The government is expected to constitute a committee to suggest measures to make the allotment of management quota seats foolproof.
On Monday, when the minister met the governor, the latter expressed displeasure over the government not doing anything when managements were fleecing parents, in gross violation of the government orders in existence. He wanted to know why merit should not be the criteria for allotment of seats and why the students should pay more than the prescribed fee.
The governor is understood to have told the minister that he was concerned over the commercial trends in medical education and as chancellor of universities in the state, he wants a better mechanism in place to make management quota seats available at the fee fixed by the government (Rs 5.5 lakh per year).
When Murali Mohan met the chief minister on Thursday, the issue of managements selling the seats came up for discussion and the chief minister is understood to have decided not to allow this to continue. He made it clear to the officials as well as representatives of medical colleges who met him that rules have to be adhered to in filling management quota seats and that the managements cannot fill them as they like.
There are instructions laid down clearly in GOs issued in 2007 (GO no. 136) and another in 2009 (GO no. 144) on filling of management quota seats. According to the rules, managements have to issue a notification first and then prepare a merit list of the applicants. Then they have to send the list to the vice-chancellor of NTR University of Health Sciences for approval. But, according to sources, what happens is that the merit list submitted to the university have only the names of the students who are willing to pay more than the prescribed fee of Rs 5.5 lakh per annum.
Even the notifications issued by the managements are published in obscure newspapers to prevent a majority of the students from coming to know of it.
“Even if someone comes to know about the notification and approaches the college, he is not given the application form because they are reserved for those who are willing to pay more. Last year, the seats went for as high a price as Rs 70 to Rs 80 lakh,” a senior official in the medical education department, said.
Total number of seats in the 26 private medical colleges is 3,050, including the three new medical colleges--Apollo, Anil Neeru Konda and Malla Reddy colleges. Of them, 40 percent of the seats are under management quota, which works out to 1,220 seats.
Sources said several medical colleges have already sold their seats and confirmed admission to their clients who are either NRIs and high networth individuals in the state. The government is yet to make up its mind on whether to ask the colleges to cancel the admission they had already made unofficially and begin the process honestly and in accordance with the rules. “If the government is determined, it can bend the managements. No harm will befall the state if the managements are asked to make admissions afresh by refunding the money they had collected from wealthy students,” a senior government official said.