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The Medical Council will conduct a special counseling round to allocate more than 1,400 seats that were left unfilled after previous rounds, it has been reported. Despite the government removing a cut-off, these seats remained vacant.

Registration for the round is expected to open by November 17, with the results likely to be announced by November 24.

A similar special counseling round was also held for remaining undergraduate seats.

A senior official familiar with the matter stated, “When we have allowed a special round of counseling for MBBS seats, we have to do the same for post-graduation as well. Every seat that has been created is a resource and we have to try to ensure that it gets utilized.”

An association of medical colleges from Tamil Nadu has filed a plea seeking an extension of the counseling process to ensure the seats are utilized.

Typically, there are three rounds of counseling based on the centralized merit list, as well as a final stray vacancy round where seats are allocated by individual colleges.

All counseling rounds in 2023, including the upcoming special round, will be based on the centralized merit list. This special fifth round of counseling comes as the government eliminated the cut-off from the third round onwards, with more than 13,000 seats remaining vacant. The eligibility for PG seats is usually 50 percentile, but it has been dropped to zero for the first time during the later rounds of counseling.

An analysis of seat allotment after the third round shows that eliminating the cut off resulted in seats being allocated to candidates who scored as low as 11 out of 800 in the general category and 5 out of 800 in the OBC category. It also led to general category candidates with lower scores than SC/ST candidates being allocated seats.

The NMC is investigating the reasons why seats continue to remain vacant.

Anonna Dutt is a Principal Correspondent who writes primarily on health…

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