Critics claim that doctor-patient ratio will be severely affected if the government goes ahead with the new criteria for admissions in postgraduate medical courses.
Medical students, as well as political parties, have expressed their concerns against the likelihood of J&K administration’s decision of UT students’ participation in the All-India Quota under NEET PG 2021 for admissions in medical courses.
Medics carry out protest demonstrations in GMCs
On Thursday, students at numerous government medical colleges protested over the UT government’s decision to ‘pool its MBBS seats in the All-India Quota (AIQ)’ beginning with the current academic year.
Because of the government’s decision, MBBS doctors from the Valley who want to apply or have applied for post-graduate admissions expect to compete at an all-India level rather than a UT level.
The demonstrations arose days after the Medical Counselling Committee (MCC), Directorate General of Health Services, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India said that the J-K government would likely participate in AIQ counselling beginning this year in its notification.
The MCC further noted that the matter has been taken up with the J-K government for its approval.
‘Disastrous decision for aspiring doctors’
Tajamul Islam, one of the protesting MBBS doctors at GMC Srinagar, while talking to media persons stated that roughly 50% of seats from GMCs and 100% from SKIMS will be pooled in AIQ, which will be disastrous for J-K doctors.
“It basically implies that 50% of seats will be taken away from local students, and just two to three students would be chosen for the postgraduate course,” he explained.
Tajamul stated that everyone was aware of the situation in J-K, which includes a seven-month internet shutdown. He questioned, “How can the government expect us to compete with graduates at the national level?”
‘Sharing seats practically impossible’
The MBBS doctors stated they were opposing the government’s decision since sharing seats was “practically impossible.”
“Sharing seats in the All-India Quota will rob us of our jobs, adding to our anguish and that of the people of J-K,” the protesting MBBS medics added.
While stating, “The majority of us have already taken the PG examinations and studied in anticipation of competing at the J-K level, but now we will be evaluated at the All-India level, which is unacceptable,” the doctors requested the government to refrain from participating in the AIQ’s medical seat pooling.
Similar protest demonstrations were held in GMC Anantnag and GMC Rajouri as well.
Significant reason to reject NEET, says NC
The Jammu and Kashmir National Conference warned the J-K government against participating in the All-India Quota for admission to PG courses and proposed a 50 per cent (MD/MS/Diploma/PG DNB) AIQ under NEET on Thursday, claiming that the measure would put J-K students at a disadvantage compared to their counterparts from other States.
In a joint statement, the party’s Members of Parliament Dr Farooq Abdullah, Muhammad Akbar Lone, and Hasnain Masoodi expressed concern about the ‘hardship’ faced by J-K students as a result of the AIQ (All-India Quota) pooling.
The party noted that many students do not have access to schools that are equipped with modern educational resources. Aside from that, it said, almost 90% of students pass the State Board of School Education’s Higher Secondary examinations compared to a few thousand students who pass the eligibility exam conducted by CBSE.
It is in place to mention that NEET is based on the CBSE syllabus, as a result of which the majority of applicants from the UT do not have a chance of being chosen for MBBS and BDS graduate and postgraduate courses.
The MPs stressed that a more significant reason to reject NEET is that it is incompatible with the J&K’s Constitution since the August 5, 2019 decisions are still awaiting constitutional approval from the constitutional bench.
The decision will jeopardize rights of J-K’s medical students: Apni Party
The president of the Apni Party, Altaf Bukhari, has also warned the J-K UT administration against any step that might jeopardize the rights of Jammu and Kashmir medical postgraduate candidates.
Bukhari advised the J-K government not to give its confirmation to the notification issued by the Medical Counselling Committee.
“Taking part in the All-India Quota would be highly detrimental to the rights and interests of J-K’s medical students and would jeopardize their legitimate rights,” Bukhari said, expressing surprise at the official notification, which came a day after the NEET PG results were released.
The leader said that it is odd that no such restriction was included in the BOPEE brochure or the MCC notification when PG applicants submitted their applications. “Now that the results have been announced, making an arbitrary declaration on behalf of the J-K administration is just bizarre,” he said.
He asked the Lt. Governor-led administration in J&K to refrain from making such decisions, warning that doing so would jeopardize the future of Jammu and Kashmir’s medical PG candidates.