SAARC-MBBS quota: Denied admission, teenager unveils ‘corrupt practices’ in the system   

Srinagar: An MBBS aspirant from Srinagar has accused Bangladesh’s Directorate General of Health Services of ignoring the merit while granting admissions to students from SAARC nations in the country’s government medical colleges.

Taha Firdous secured a cumulative average grade point (CAGP) 10 in Secondary and Higher Secondary school examination conducted by the Jammu and Kashmir Board of School Education (BOSE).

She applied for admission to MBBS course in a government medical college in Bangladesh in the SAARC quota and had high expectations of making the cut. However, when the Directorate General of Health Services of Bangladesh released the list of selected candidates from SAARC countries, Taha was disappointed to see her name missing.

Not the one to give up easily, Taha thought of scanning through the details including marks percentage secured by candidates from Kashmir who had made it to the list and were on course to pursue a degree in Medicine.

Here she stumbled across the “irregularities” committed in granting the admissions. Three candidates, who had lesser marks than her in the qualifying examination had made it to the selection list.

The case of Zehwa Gulzar — admitted to Rangpur Medical College — is the most curious as she has only 88 per cent marks in Biology and 82 per cent in Physics in the qualifying examination while students with much higher percentage like Taha and Sana Imtiyaz have been left out.

According to the criteria laid down by Directorate General of Health Services, the candidates have to secure at least CAGP of 8.0 in the qualifying examination in three core subjects — Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

 The other two candidates Ariebah Qudsia and Mahrukh Jan have three and four marks less, respectively, than Taha in the core subjects and yet have been admitted to government-run medical colleges in Bangladesh as per the list issued by the Bangladesh High Commission in Delhi on 8 January.

 An official of the High Commission, while refusing to identify himself, said the aggrieved candidates should file a complaint before the High Commissioner in Delhi to bring forth the matter.

 “We are not aware of the criteria that have been followed while selecting the candidates from SAARC countries but if there is any irregularity in the process, the High commissioner will be more than interested to set things right,” the official said.

 Taha feels cheated as her merit has been ignored but she has vowed to fight till the last.

“I have gone through the selection list of past few years and the average cut off for admission in MBBS course has been 96 per cent. How can higher merit, however, small the margin, be ignored?” she asked.

 “I will write to the Bangladesh High Commission about this and submit all the proof I have collected over the past few days in support of my claim,” she added.

 Officials at Smile Education, a Kolkata-based education consultancy facilitating admissions in MBBS in Bangladesh, were also surprised to know about the low merit of the candidates from Kashmir who have made it to the select list.

 “I have a candidate from Kerala who has secured 98.5 per cent marks in the core subjects and yet has not made it to the list. She is distraught. If she comes to know about candidates with lesser merit having been selected, I don’t know how she will react!” an official of consultancy said over phone.

 She said she will take up the matter with the High Commission very soon.


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