The Telegraph
Thursday , June 5 , 2014
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MBBS seat jitters on result eve

The results of the state JEE will be announced on Thursday but there is no word yet from the Medical Council of India on the number of MBBS seats Bengal will offer.

The council, the apex body for regulating medical education in the country, has slashed 900 MBBS seats at 10 colleges in Bengal, including SSKM, for the 2014-15 academic session.

The key reasons for the cut — from 2,200 to 1,300 — was inadequate infrastructure and lack of enough teachers.

Eight of the 10 colleges are run by the state government.

The colleges have pleaded for a reconsideration of the slash, but the executive committee of the council, which met on Tuesday, did not take any decision on restoring the seats.

“We are yet to take any decision on the matter. We will decide soon,” a senior council official said from Delhi over the phone.

Sushanta Banerjee, the director of medical education in Bengal, however, expressed the hope that the slashed seats would be restored by August. “The council has been requested to allow conditional admission to the seats.”

The colleges have pleaded with the council to allow admission on the basis of undertakings that infrastructure and staff strength would be improved.

Around 20,000 students had written the JEE (medical), while close to 50,000 had appeared for the combined engineering-medical test.

“So many students are vying for just 1,300 seats,” said an official of the health department.

According to a Supreme Court order, the first round of counselling for and admission to state-run medical colleges must end by June 25. The last round of admission must end by September 30.

The council’s decision to reduce the seat count followed an inspection of the colleges by its inspectors.

“The colleges had inadequate infrastructure and less than the desired number of teachers. Also, there were not enough rooms for senior doctors to train students. Shortage of hostels and fewer lecture theatres and autopsy rooms than required were among the other reasons for the slash in the number of seats,” said a council.

Some of the colleges, such as Burdwan Medical College, have lost all their seats.