CHENNAI: The State government on Tuesday announced that counselling for undergraduate medical courses for the academic year 2020-21 will be held for a total of 6,627 MBBS seats, in both State-run and self-financed medical colleges. Further, as many as 209 of the 4,048 State-quota seats will be reserved for government school students who have cleared the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) 2020, under the new 7.5 per cent reservation legislation.
Health Minister C Vijayabaskar had recently announced that 91 BDS seats have been reserved for eligible government school students, taking the total number of medical and dental seats reserved for them to 300. This is a significant increase to the post-NEET period as the number of government school students who got government quota seats stood at a staggering five in 2017, seven in 2018 and none last year.
The new 7.5 per cent horizontal reservation will be provided in each category of the vertical reservation followed in the State, within the 69 per cent reservation. Government school students who have cleared NEET can also apply to Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani and Homoeopathy, using their NEET results. Government school students would also be entitled to compete for seats, other than those set apart on a preferential basis, along with those from the private schools.
Meanwhile, the School Education Department is also taking efforts to ensure that all eligible students get a chance. The department has asked all District Chief Education Officers to approach government school students who have passed NEET 2020, and encourage them to to apply for the medical and dental admissions announced on Tuesday.
“Many students will need help to apply for these admissions and will not have the exposure to pick the right college choices based on their marks and cut-off. So, we have asked district officials to approach the students and help them to apply,” said a senior official from the School Education Department.
A total of 747 students from government schools, who were tutored freely by the State government, have cleared the test in their first attempt this year. That is, while 3,553 students from government schools wrote, as many as 21 per cent of them cleared the exam.