SRINAGAR: Students from Kashmir’s all the medical colleges moved to the road in protest against the government decision to pool its MBBS seats in the All India quota from the current session. They said it will lead to a crippling crisis in their careers.
Protesting students raised slogans for justice and were holding ply cards reading “Save doctors of Jammu and Kashmir ” and “We want justice”.
Abdul Basit, a final year student from the Government Medical College, Srinagar told reporters that this policy has a direct impact on the future of MBBS students because 50 per cent of the seats will go out of their hands.
“We are already facing different issues and still managed to complete our degrees but we are not prepared for competing on a national level,” Basit said. “It is not about our unwillingness to compete but it is about the lack of facilities that help us get into the competition.”
Another protester said that according to this notification issued by Medical Council Committee all the seats available with the SKIMS, Soura will go to the national pool.
The protesters expressed apprehension that the new decision-making will eventually affect the healthcare system in Jammu and Kashmir because it will disturb the doctor-patient ratio.
Dr Abrar, an intern from GMC Srinagar said that many students have already applied for PG exams keeping in view the competition at the state level but now all of a sudden they have issued the notification about competing at the national level. He said that around 3000 students across Jammu and Kashmir apply for post-graduate courses but at the national level the applicants are more than 100 thousand.
The protesters requested the Lt Governor’s administration to intervene in this matter.
The medical colleges across Jammu and Kashmir are disquiet over the order for the last many days. They are protesting against the Medical Council Committee order that said the counselling for the eligible candidates for NEET PG courses will be “held as per schedule” and half of all the seats across Indian states will go into All India Quota and this year Jammu and Kashmir is “likely to participate in All India Quota counselling subject to confirmation from competent state authorities.”
Besides, the notification said that the entire quota of the Deemed Universities – under which SKIMS falls, will also go to the All India Quota.
Students said the Jammu and Kashmir had round 537 PG NEET berths within its access and now it will fundamentally change. They believe that the implementation of the new order would reduce this number to 204 (of which only 117 are open merit and the rest are reserved). For the balance number of seats, they will have to face an all India competition that involves almost 150 thousand applicants.
In the last few days, the political parties have strongly supported medical students. These include the National Conference and the Apni Party.
One protesting medical student said out of 138 seats in SKIMS hardly 4 to 5 students will get selected for the masters. In GMC Srinagar and Jammu, he said, only 150 seats will be left for local students and part of it are reserved for categories.
Though the Medical Council Committee decision making is unlikely to impact the current year, according to the LG Manoj Sinha’s interaction with a group of medical students, the final decision about future is yet to be taken.