Counselling for medical, dental admissions postponed

Mumbai: Following the results of the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) 2020, the counselling process for admissions to All India Quota (AIQ) seats for medical (MBBS), dental and pharmacy undergraduate (UG) programmes which were supposed to begin on Tuesday has been postponed to October 28 due to technical reasons. On the other hand, the Maharashtra government has not released a brochure or timetable for state quota seats till now owing to the pending matter of Socially and Educationally Backward Class (SEBC) category or Maratha quota reservation in the Supreme Court (SC).

On Tuesday, students were trying to register online and pay the fees for the counselling seat allotment process on the official website of the Medical Counselling Committee (MCC) NEET but were unable to do so. Avinash Shinde, a student said, "I could not register as the MCC NEET seat allotment website displayed a message 'New Registration Over'. I could not understand what is wrong because the committee had released the timetable stating registration, payment and choice filling for AIQ seats in the first round can be done online starting from October 27 to November 2 up to 5 pm."

Later on Tuesday, the MCC released a notification stating, "The NEET UG Counselling 2020 has been postponed till October 28, 2020, due to some technical reasons. The updated schedule will be displayed on MCC website www.mcc.nic.in. All candidates are advised to stay in touch with the MCC website for latest updates."

The candidates who are aiming for state quota seats are in a fix as the Maharashtra govt has not released a brochure or timetable for registration. Sudha Shenoy, the representative of the medical parents' association, said, "The admission process for state quota seats has been withheld because of the pending matter of Maratha quota reservation in the SC. But, the state government should start the admission process because the entire process including counselling, allotment of seats through merit rounds, document verification and payment of fees for medical and dental programmes takes time."

On September 9, the SC directed an interim stay on the reservation in government jobs and educational institutions for candidates belonging to the Maratha community in Maharashtra.

This year, 13,66,945 candidates appeared for the NEET UG 2020 in India, of which 7,71,500 have qualified, an overall qualifying percentage of 56.44 per cent as the results were declared online on October 16. While in Maharashtra, out of the 1,95,338 candidates who appeared for the exam, 79,974 have qualified, making for a state qualifying percentage of 40.94.

In Maharashtra, there are 24 government and civic-run medical colleges which have 4,080 MBBS seats. Also, the state has 2,120 seats for the course in 17 private and minority colleges.

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