News Snippets

  • West Bengal governor calls major political parties for a meeting in a bid to stop post-poll violence in the state
  • Police stop BJP protestors from reaching police headquarters in Kolkata leading to clashes
  • PM asks all ministers to reach office by 9.30 am. Also asks senior ministers to guide new comers
  • NIA raids seven places in Coimbatore over suspected IS module
  • UP Bar Council chief, elected just three days back, shot dead on Agra district court premises
  • Isro to launch Chandrayaan-2 on July 15
  • The NRS hospital incident snowballs into a major crisis in West Bengal, affecting delivery of healthcare across the state
  • India play New Zealand in the World Cup today. Both teams are the only unbeaten teams left in the tournament
  • Congress thinking of having an interim president as the headless party is being torn apart
  • Temperatures in Delhi soar up to 48 degrees, the highest on over 20 years
  • Yuvraj Singh announces retirement from international cricket
  • SC to hear plea of the wife of journalist Prashant Kanojia, who was arrested for an alleged defamatory post on UP CM Yogi Adityanath
  • Modi asks all secretaries in the government to think of themselves as the PM while implementing strategies
  • WB governor KN Tripathi says he has not submitted a report that calls for the dismissal of the state government
  • Mamata Banerjee compares herself to a wounded tigress and warns the BJP against dislodging her government over post-poll clashes
Agitating doctors refuse to hold closed-door meeting with West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee. They ask her to visit NRS Hospital instead for an open meeting
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7.14 Lakh Pass Neet, But Where Are The Seats In Medical Colleges?

By A Special Correspondent

Kalpana Kumari from Bihar needs to be congratulated for getting a mind-boggling 99.99% in NEET, the national level exam for admission to MBBS and BDS degree courses. It will go a long way in erasing the negativity associated with exams and Bihar, especially after reports of large scale cheating and abysmal pass percentages in state exams. The other good news is that the maximum number of successful candidates are from another backward state (in terms of education), Uttar Pradesh. A total of 12.69 lakh candidates appeared for the exam with 7.14 lakh clearing it. It was conducted in 136 cities and 11 languages.

But the next headache for these candidates will be getting admission in a good medical or dental college. With the government announcing just a day earlier that it has withheld permission for 82 medical colleges to take fresh admissions this year and rejected the applications of 68 colleges for increasing seats or setting up new facilities, the number of seats has come down drastically. There will be tough competition and only about 55000 of the 7.4 lakh successful candidates will get a chance to pursue a medical career.

This must be extremely heartbreaking for them. It is also distressing for the nation which is already facing a severe shortage of doctors. The government must urgently work out how this problem can be tackled. Obviously, allowing colleges with poor infrastructure to churn out half-baked doctors can never be accepted. But opening more colleges under PPP or foreign collaboration and letting them charge higher fees as per their upscale infrastructure can be a solution. There should not be quota restrictions on such new colleges – like admitting SC/ST, OBC or other candidates at lower fees. If necessary for requirement of affirmative action, the government can provide direct subsidy to such candidates who secure admissions in these colleges to pay the full fees charged. Banks can be asked to provide unsecured loans to such candidates. Medical study comes at a huge cost and quality private colleges will need to invest hugely in quality infrastructure. They will need to, and should be allowed to, make reasonable profits to recoup their investment in good time. It should not be seen as making medical education elitist.