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Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Qualifying marks lowered drastically to fill MDS seats


Qualifying marks lowered drastically to fill MDS seats

Balwant Garg

Tribune News Service

Faridkot, April 15

Facing shortage of eligible candidates to fill all 139 MDS (Master of Dental Surgery — postgraduate course in dentistry) in 12 dental colleges in the state, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has lowered the minimum qualifying marks and percentile for admission to these seats.

As 68 out of total 139 MDS state quota seats remained vacant in the first round of counselling, conducted by Baba Farid University of Health Sciences (BFUHS) on April 7, the qualifying percentile for the MDS has been lowered from 50 to 25.835 for the general category candidates and for SC/BC and handicapped candidates, the qualifying percentile has been reduced from 40 to 15.835 and 45 to 20.835, respectively.

If the cut-off score as qualifying criteria for general category candidates was 250 marks last week, now the cut-off score is 172 marks. For the SC/ST and handicapped candidates, the revised cut off score is 140 marks against the 215 and 156 marks against 232 marks, the minimum qualifying marks fixed last week.

With this reduction in qualifying cut-off score, BFUHS on Monday invited additional number of candidates for admission to the dentistry course for the second counselling, which will start on April 24.

It is not only in the MDS course where the dental colleges in the state are facing shortage of aspirant candidates, more worrisome is the status of non-clinical MD seats in seven medical colleges in the state.

Out of the total 403 MD/MS postgraduate courses seats in seven medical colleges in the state, there are 138 non-clinical seats in the subjects like biochemistry, forensic science, microbiology, pharmacology, physiology, anatomy and SPM. In the first round of counselling, conducted on April 8, only three of these non-clinical seats could be filled.

To attract students to non-clinical subjects seats, even two medical colleges — Adesh Medical College and Sri Guru Ram Das Medical College — have announced a complete waiver on the fee for these courses. These colleges have announced zero fees for all non-clinical courses, notwithstanding that the state government has fixed Rs 7.8 lakh fee for these courses. However, for the clinical MD/MS seats, both these colleges have about 100 per cent more tuition fee in comparison to five other medical colleges in the state.

It is really worrisome trend that the students are not opting for non-clinical subjects as it led to shortage of teaching faculty in medical colleges, said Dr Raj Bahadur, Vice Chancellor, BFUHS. The qualifying marks for the MDS had not been lowered for Punjab only, the Union Health Ministry had taken the decision for all dental colleges in the country, he said.

There were high chances that the Union Health Ministry would lower the qualifying percentile for non-clinical seats also in the coming days, said sources in medical colleges in the state.

Worrisome trend, says BFUHS VC

  • Dr Raj Bahadur, VC, BFUHS, said it was a worrisome trend that students were not opting for non-clinical subjects as it led to shortage of teaching faculty in medical colleges 
  • The qualifying marks for the MDS had not been lowered for Punjab only, the Union Health Ministry had taken the decision for all dental colleges in the country, he said

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