25% PG medical seats remain vacant in TN

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About 25% of seats remained vacant in post-graduate medical and dental courses at the end of counselling on Wednesday. However, all postgraduate seats in government medical and dental colleges were filled but there were vacancies even in government quota seats in self-financing colleges.

All the 1,066 seats in government medical colleges and 25 seats in the government dental college were filled, officials said.

The most number of vacancies were in deemed universities. Self-financing medical colleges had 73 seats of which only 54 (74%) were filled; deemed universities could not fill as many as 137 of their 598 seats. Under the government quota in self-financing colleges, of the 172 seats, 14 remained vacant. All these seats were in non-clinical subjects.

A similar situation was noticed in the dental colleges too. Of the 384 seats in self-financing colleges and deemed universities, 99 went vacant (74%) and of the 110 seats in private dental colleges under government quota, five seats were not filled.

AIIMS MBBS 2017 paper leaked, says Vyapam whistleblower, Institute orders probe

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Following the complaints by activist Dr Anand Rai over the AIIMS MBBS 2017 entrance exam question papers leaked, the premier medical institute has constituted a committee to probe the issue. Rai, known as the whistleblower of the Vyapam scam in Madhya Pradesh has been actively involved in exposing malpractices in medical examinations like NEET. In a series of tweets, he posted desktop images of question papers of the entrance examination, held across the country on May 28.

The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) said it has constituted a committee to inquire into the matter and it is in contact with the investigation agencies for necessary action once the facts are ascertained. “I suggest the committee to cross check the answers and the results of those 70 students,” said Rai.

He also alleged that the paper was leaked from the MC Saxena College in Lucknow. “They have allowed the racketeers to enter the exam centre and take screen shot. About 70 students are involved in this malpractices,” he said.

Rai pointed out that the cheating format is similar to the 2012 AIIMS PG paper leak where they targetted an exam centre, scanned question papers which were sent to the Noida control room. The answers were then sent to the candidates.

In a statement, AIIMS has said that they’ll look into the matter. “The AIIMS has constituted a committee to inquire into the matter. The committee shall look into the matter immediately and submit a report at the earliest,” said the institute.

It also said that the administration is also in contact with the government investigation agencies in this regard. “Immediate and further necessary action shall be taken once the facts are ascertained,” the statement said.  The AIIMS online entrance test was held in two shifts, adding that the screenshots clearly prove that the question papers were leaked while the examination was going on.

WHO to confer special award on Health Minister Nadda

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The World Health Organisation (WHO) has conferred a special recognition award on Union Health Minister J P Nadda for his commitment to advancing tobacco control in the country.

The global health body said that Nadda will be conferred the Director Generals Special Recognition Award for accelerating India’s tobacco control initiatives and taking bold measures to protect people against hazards of tobacco use.

Interestingly, sources said that one of the main proposers for the award was K S Reddy, president of the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), which was recently barred from getting foreign funds by the government.

WHO has also selected health ministers of the Maldives and Bhutan among five individuals or institutions from the WHO South-East Asia Region for this years World No-Tobacco Day Award.

“Nadda has accelerated India’s tobacco control initiatives, taking bold measures to protect people against multiple health, economic, social and development hazards of tobacco use,” said Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director, WHO South-East Asia.

India’s recent initiatives include making graphic health warnings covering 85 per cent of all tobacco products mandatory beginning April 2016 and establishing national tobacco testing laboratories last year.

The initiatives also include launching cessation services in 2015 and, as part of this, a National Tobacco Quit line a year ago.

These have all been made possible by the strong commitment and focused efforts of the Minister of Health and Family Welfare, the Regional Director said in a WHO-South East Asia Regional Office (SEARO) statement.

Nadda is among the two recipients of the special global award this year.

The Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs of the Republic of the Gambia is the other awardee.

Singh added that by pursuing tobacco control measures, countries across the region are striving to advance public health at the same time as accelerating development.

“Tobacco consumption not only threatens and undermines public health, it has major social, economic and environmental consequences.

“On World No-Tobacco Day, we must pledge to continue our efforts to strengthen implementation of Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), to address tobaccos threat to public health and sustainable development,” Singh said.

Sources said that Nadda will be conferred the award at an event scheduled next month.

From the WHO South-East Asia Region, Health Minister of Maldives, Abdullah Nazim Ibrahim, has been conferred the World No-Tobacco Day Award for promoting tobacco cessation services and launching the anti-tobacco I Choose Life campaign last year.

Bhutan’s Health Minister Tandin Wangchuk, has been selected for the award for implementing measures, as chairperson of Bhutans Narcotic Control Authority, to ban production and sale of tobacco in the country.

An MP from Bangladesh, Saber Hossain Chowdhury, has been selected for the World No-Tobacco Award for initiating inclusion of tobacco control in the countrys seventh five- year plan in 2015, for sustainable resources for the programme.

The CEO of Thai Health Promotion Foundation, Supreda Adulyanon and Sri Lankas National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol control are among the others selected for the award from the region this year.

PG medical admission deadlock continues

Even as Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi warned of serving show-cause notices to self-financing colleges failing to abide by the fee structure, defiant managements refused to admit student at what they claim as “unviable” fees that threatened the survival of self-financing institutions for postgraduate medical courses.

Entangled in this tussle is the fate of thousands of students.

Since morning, Ms. Bedi camped at the Centralised Admission Committee (Centac) office persuading the students to take the seats available under the government quota. In case the managements refused to accept the fees prescribed by the committee, the government would serve show-cause notices to bring them around, she said.

On the last day, the counselling began at around 10 a.m. and went on till 1 p.m. Around 63 candidates turned up for counselling for about 71 seats and about 26 students selected their seats till 11.30 a.m. The remaining 45 seats will be surrendered to the All India quota, said a Centac official.

The Lieutenant Governor told presspersons that all the seats under the government quota that were due to local students should be filled with candidates from the Union Territory. In case, there was still vacancy, these seats should be surrendered to the Government of India which would reallocate the seats to government quota.

MCI, DGHS informed

The managements could never come in the picture and the seats could not go to management quota. She said that she had informed the president of the Medical Council of India and the Director-General of Health Services of the whole selection process and the list of candidates had been placed before them. The present mess would not be allowed to continue and Centac would be revamped.

As far as the fee was concerned, it had been finalised by the Fee Committee appointed by the Supreme Court. A similar approach would be adopted in respect of admission of students in MBBS in private colleges this academic year, Ms. Bedi added.

However, the college managements were sticking to their guns and refusing to conduct admissions at the fee structure fixed by the government.

On Wednesday, candidates selected through Centac gathered in front of the colleges till late evening waiting for admission as the administration threatened that it would take way the seats if the fees demanded by them was not paid.

A candidate who had selected MD in Dermatology said that the management of a private college remained defiant even after assurances were made by the Health Minister Malladi Krishna Rao.

The management had refused to accept anything less than ₹38 lakh for a seat. When the Lt. Governor visited the college, the management initially agreed to admit the students selected under Centac. But once she left, they refused to admit around 30 students who had selected the college unless they paid the full fees.

On the last day of counselling, the candidates selected through Centac were advised by Ms. Bedi to select the seats under government quota and remit the fees prescribed by the fee committee.

Students confused

However, a number of students who turned up for counselling and were selected under the government quota were at a loss since they were not able to decide whether to pay the full fee demanded by the management or the fee prescribed by the fee committee.

A candidate from Andhra Pradesh who had selected MS in Orthopaedics during the counselling held on Tuesday and received the provisional allotment letter was shocked to find that there was no vacancy on Wednesday. “I had remitted ₹17 lakh for the course in a self-financing college and received the allotment letter. But the officials now claim that there was no vacancy,” he said.