The Bihar government, on Friday, admitted that it had violated reservation rules in filling up post-graduate medical seats, and announced its decision to scrap the entire ongoing counselling process.
Announcing the government decision, principal secretary, health, R K Mahajan said, fresh counselling would be conducted on May 28 and 29, so as to complete the admission process by May 31, which was the Supreme Court prescribed deadline for PG admissions.
The Bihar Combined Entrance Competitive Examination Board (BCECEB) will now re-convene counselling for 449 PG seats on offer in six government-run medical colleges of the state, affecting nearly 850 students vying for these seats.
The seats are at the Patna Medical College Hospital, Nalanda Medical College Hospital (both in Patna), Darbhanga Medical College Hospital (Darbhanga), Anugraha Narayan Magadh Medical College Hospital (Gaya), Jawaharal Nehru Medical College and the Sri Krishna Medical College Hospital (Muzaffarpur).
Of the 449 PG seats on offer, 350 are degree and 99 diploma seats, said Mahajan. He said these also included 136 degree and 32 diploma seats, which were vacant under the central government quota and reverted to the state.
Asked if the government would take action against officials responsible for the lapse, he said, “We will initiate an inquiry before taking any action.”
Asked if there was a hint of a scam in the matter at hand, Mahajan said, “The problem arose because of wrong interpretation of rules. There is no scam as such.”
He said combined counselling would be done for medicos this time, as against the previous practice of holding it separately in a phase-wise manner for general and reserved category students.
He said students of the reserved category, who compete on merit, would be given the option to exercise their choice of opting for merit or reserved seat only once. “Having exercised their choice once, students of the reserved category will not be able to change it,” he added.
Earlier, students of reserved category, who qualified on merit, used to take up general seats and then re-appear in counselling for reserved category medicos. Having got admission in an institution of choice, the general seat, which they subsequently vacated, was then filled up by a candidate under reserved category, thus whittling down the number of seats available to medicos under general category.
It was this arrangement, which the medicos were opposing when they were caned during counselling in front of the BCECEB office here last Tuesday.
Mahajan said the government would transfer the admission fee in case there was any change of college in fresh counselling.
Additional secretary, health, Pradeep Kumar Jha, was also present during the media interface.