With 34,427 applications received for 4,061 MBBS seats, counselling will be conducted in a vast area like Nehru Indoor Stadium in compliance with the COVID-19 precautionary norms of masking and maintaining physical distance, Health Minister C. Vijayabaskar said on Thursday.
“November 12 was the last date for submission of applications for admission to MBBS. As many as 34,427 students have applied for 4,061 seats. As per the plan, we will release the merit list on November 16 and counselling will begin on November 18 or 19. It will start with the special counselling, followed by 7.5% quota for NEET-qualified government school students,” he told reporters.
Should any correction of small errors be required in the uploaded applications, the candidates could send a mail to the selection committee, he said. Applications would not be rejected because of small errors.
When asked why the counselling was being held offline instead of online in view of the pandemic, he said, “Every year, the counselling is held offline. We install LED screens. Students attend it in person along with a parent. Guidance on selection of college is provided. In-person counselling will be apt for medical admission but we will ensure that all appropriate norms are followed during the pandemic. We will have it in a big place like Nehru Indoor Stadium with masking and physical distancing. This is not going to be an unplanned crowd. We will have 500 persons attending the session according to a schedule for a day,” he said.
Mr. Vijayabaskar said Leader of the Opposition and DMK president M.K. Stalin demanded that the counselling be held online. “But last time, he had said there were issues with nativity certificates and chances of impersonation,” he said. To prevent such incidents, special teams were set up for verification of certificates.
“They will check the nativity certificate, the community certificate, and the other certificates in the case of government school students. We will conduct the counselling in a transparent way,” he said.
Around 395 students of government schools would gain admission to MBBS and BDS — 304 to MBBS and 91 to BDS, he said. There were chances of new seats being added.
The Minister said that the Chief Minister had sanctioned ₹103 crore to strengthen the 108 ambulance network with 500 new vehicles. The second batch of new ambulances — numbering 108 — was flagged off on Thursday. “The number of ambulances has increased from 958 to 1,300 in the State. A total of 2,92,723 COVID-19 patients were shifted to hospitals in the ambulances. During the pandemic, the ambulance services continued uninterrupted and admitted 7,96,984 persons, including pregnant women and persons injured in accidents, to hospitals,” he said.
The aim was to reduce the response time to less than 10 minutes in Chennai. “As per the international standards, the response time is eight minutes. Now the 108 ambulance network’s response time in metros like Chennai is 8.03 minutes. We will be adding 200 ambulances and will reach the international standard in two months,” he said.
Mr. Vijayabaskar added that a software was being readied to enable people to track the arrival of ambulances.
“This will be like the GPS system in the ride-hailing services in which people can track the vehicles on their Android mobile phones. We will bring the software to use soon, and through this, people can track the ambulances through a mobile application and need not make multiple calls in case of an accident,” he said.
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