Of the 1,276 medical seats, 882 stand filled after the first day of the counseling.
Students from rank 1 to 1,500 attended the first day of Common Entrance Test (CET) counseling and seat selection session for admission to under-graduate medical courses on Monday.
No major glitches were reported.
The counseling started about 9 am at seven counseling centres across the state, with the Hubli and Chitradurga centers reporting the poorest turn out.
As usual, the Bangalore centre was over crowded with students and parents.
"Hubli and Belgaum are just around three hours away, so the candidates prefer coming here. It's the same case with the centres at Shimoga and Chitradurga too. So, we are now considering having a centre at Mysore instead of Chitradurga," said an official from the Karnataka Examinations Authority (KEA), which conducts the entrance test and counseling sessions for admission to professional colleges in the state.
As per the seat matrix released by the authority, about 1,276 medical seats are available for the first round of counseling. The state medical education department, however, is expecting Medical Council of India (MCI) approval for 700 additional seats anytime soon.
"I was told that MCI officials have been discussing the approval issue since morning and we are positive that the number of medical seats will be enhanced. Along with this, we are also expecting approvals for new government and private colleges. We are hoping to get an official order in this regard in two days," state medical education minister S.A. Ramdas said.
KEA plans a special round of counseling for the seats which are yet to be approved. "We are expecting about 700 additional seats and we will conduct a special round of counseling for those seats," he said.
This year, the state government is facing a tough time to secure 25% of seats from the deemed medical universities in the state. On it, Ramdas said: "I held a meeting their representatives and most of them have agreed to allocate 25% of their seats to CET. Three institutions failed to attend the meeting and I would hold a meeting for them soon."
If that happens, the medical seat matrix would cross 2,000 this time.
Following the delay in availing approvals for Ayurveda and Unani courses, the KEA has postponed the counseling sessions for them by at least a month. Meanwhile, the counseling sessions for engineering courses, too, would get postponed by at least 10 days, a KEA official informed.
BMC Hot Favorite
The Bangalore Medical College turned out to be the hot favourite among the medical colleges in the state. On Monday, it was the first choice of the students who attended the medical counseling.
After BMC, the candidates chose the Mysore Medical College, SBMC in Chitradurga, KMC in Hubli, SSIMS in Davangere, M.S. Ramaiah in Bangalore, and KIMS in Bangalore and SBMC in Chitradurga. Most of these are government colleges.
Merit, not Money, Matters
KEA promises a transparent process of counseling and seat selection. It also denies special treatment to the influentials. On Monday, 20th June 2011, BJP MLA Jeevraj from Sringeri and Bangalore Urban D.C. Ayyappa arrived at the venue with their wards to attend the counseling session. Jeevraj, who came with his son Sudanva, said: "I am really impressed with the system. Here, importance is given to merit and nothing else. My son secured the 325th rank and wants to join a medical course in a government medical college." Ayyappa's daughter Aradhana is the third rank holder in the Architecture category and wants to join RVCE, Bangalore.
More Sops for Toppers
The Indian Bank announced special grants to the top five rank holders in all streams of CET 2011. Chairman and MD of Indian Bank T.M. Bhasin said: "We have taken the list of students and we will contact them through the bank. We will bear their entire educational expenses for all the four years apart from the Rs. 25,000 cash prize given away to them on Monday, 20th June 2011."