Tamil Nadu makes strong pitch for digital-first higher education | Chennai News

CHENNAI: The directorate of medical examination is planning a completely online single-window counselling for undergraduate medical courses — including choice selection and seat allotment — for 2020 admissions to reduce chances of a Covid-19 spread.
Officials in the state selection committee have been doing dummy runs for the process over the past few days, health secretary J Radhakrishnan said. “We don’t want aspirants to travel long distances for the sake of counselling. The committee was able to carry out single window counselling successfully for postgraduate students earlier this year. The software is now being upgraded and tested for the MBBS course,” he said.
Unlike the PG programme, where students have to lock colleges and courses of choice, the application process is simpler for UG students as they only have to choose colleges. The state is expecting about 35,000- 40,000 applicants for MBBS admission to 41 medical colleges – 26 state-run colleges and 15 self-financing medical colleges. The challenge in the UG course is to verify community and nativity certificates. The agency chosen to conduct counselling is working on the new software. “We are looking at linking websites with the revenue department for online verification so officials there can verify certificates of selected students. We will also be using fingerprint and iris scanners to ensure there is no impersonation,” a senior official in the directorate of medical education said.
Until now, counselling for PG and UG medical courses in the state was being conducted at counselling centres. Online counselling is offered by the Directorate General of Health Services in Delhi for allotment of seats in government colleges across the country under the all India quota and for central and deemed universities. In 2019, health minister C Vijaya Baskar said the selection committee was testing a software that would allow aspirants to download and submit applications, lock their choices, and download admit cards after seats are allotted based on NEET rank and rules of reservation. But it did not happen because committee members said they may not be able to verify the authenticity of documents submitted online.

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