0 percentile can get a super special medical chair

MUMBAI: With hundreds of medical superspecialty seats vacant, authorities have removed the eligibility criteria for aspirants. So a bottom score or zero percentile would be acceptable for a course at this level.

“Each year, seats become available. The government felt that as a one-off measure in the larger picture, we can even accept students with a zero percentile. This is not given priority. It is picked up as a test case. After all, the entrance test was not conducted to eliminate students, but only to assess them,” said a senior officer of the Ministry of Health.

With 748 super-special seats vacant after four rounds of admission this year, the Medical Counseling Committee (MCC) took the drastic step. As a one-off measure, any candidate who has passed the NEET Super Specialty 2021 exam can participate in the special admission round regardless of his/her scores.

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When filming began this year, two rounds of the MCC received a cold response. This led to a special cleanup round where the qualifying bar was lowered by 15%. Yet there were not many buyers. Now the second round of clearing is open to all aspirants. India has about 4,500 super special medical chairs. There is more vacancy in the surgical branches than in the clinical branches.

“Candidates have realized that having a broad specialty gives them a good career and money. That’s why many don’t want to spend more time taking a super special course,” said Dr Pravin Shingare, former head of the directorate of medical education and research. (DMER). “If you look at Grant Medical College, 80% seats in super specialties have been vacant for 10 years. At GS Medical College, 40% of seats have been vacant in the past 4-5 years,” he added. But over the past three years, the trend has extended to the non-surgical industries as well.

The bias in selecting programs is often determined by considerations that in the case of a surgical branch, a candidate must work in a team, have an operating room, but a clinical course allows the doctor to work independently of a clinic .

Parent representative Sudha Shenoy said the problem also lies in the long bond candidates have to serve when joining a government college. “Any candidate entering a superspecialty program would be at least 30 years old. If they have to serve a 10-year bond, when will they start earning? So government hospitals go off the pick list of most students. And when the time comes for private and supposed institutes, the fee is prohibited for most,” Shenoy explains.

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