The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Assam cures MBBS eligibility glitches

Guwahati, April 25: Getting an MBBS seat in any of the three medical colleges of Assam just became harder.

Announcing sweeping changes to the corruption and forgery-tarred process of medical admissions, health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said today that the first deterrent to malpractice was to raise the eligibility bar.

What it means is that an aspirant to an MBBS seat must henceforth have a combined score of at least 60 per cent in physics, biology and chemistry in the Higher Secondary examination to be eligible for the medical entrance test. Candidates from the reservation layers — Other Backward Classes, Scheduled Tribes and Scheduled Castes — will also need to aggregate at least 50 per cent in these subjects to sit for the test.

The increase in the cut-off marks for both categories is 10 per cent.

There is an added incentive for scoring even higher marks. Sarma said those who figure in the Higher Secondary merit list would be given “direct admission”.

Apart from increasing the eligibility percentages, procedural changes have been made to ensure that fraud does not take place. Students seeking admission will not only have to submit their permanent resident certificates, but also documents showing that they or their parents have had at least four years of schooling in the state.

Admit cards issued for the entrance test will be computerised and the director of the Forensic Science Laboratory will be in the admissions committee to detect possible attempts at forgery. There are instances of students forging personal documents and letters of recommendation to get seats in MBBS and post-graduate courses.

The government has also thought up a plan to create a bigger pool of doctors willing to work in rural public health centres. It will reserve 15 MBBS seats for candidates from the rural belt, the main condition being that they will have to work in the villages for a decade after becoming doctors.

“They will have to fill an additional form to prove that they hail from rural areas. They will be selected just like OBC/ST/SC candidates and must have a minimum aggregate of 50 per cent at the higher secondary level. We hope this move will ease the shortage of doctors in the rural areas,” the health minister said.

As many as 92 tribes have identified as eligible for admissions under the tea community quota.

The medical entrance test for this year is slated for May 26 and 27. Dibrugarh University will conduct the test.

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