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Posted By : Parthasarathy
11/11/2011 9:05 PM

Medicos who failed in their first-year MBBS examination this year for not securing more than 50% marks in each paper of a subject will now be promoted to the second year if their aggregate in each subject is 50% or more. This means that the students will not need to get more than 50% marks individually in the four papers of a subject, including two written and one viva. With this the pass percentage will go up from 40% to at least 90%, university officials said.

Last week, health minister V S Vijay said that the chief minister J Jayalalithaa has advised Dr MGR Medical University officials to revoke the new examination rules and promote students who have an aggregate of 50% in every subject as per Medical Council of India guidelines. On Monday, senior government officials, who are part of the governing council, brought up the issue during the emergency meeting . The decision was passed without opposition.

University officials refused to elaborate as the case filed by some failed students is likely to come up for hearing before the division bench of the Madras high court this week. Health department officials said the government will set up an expert panel that will come up with new rules for the next academic year. In January, the university brought in stricter examination rules and decided that it would not give more than 5 marks as grace. Further, it said the students should score at least 50% in each of the papers in three subjects - anatomy, biochemistry and physiology. Every subject has two written papers, one internal examination and a viva. After the rule came into force in August, 40% of the first-year students failed to clear their exam. In all, 1,907 of the 3,175 students failed. The students petitioned the chief minister and moved the court.

Until last week the university officials vehemently defended their decision in court. At a press conference, university vice-chancellor Dr Mayil Vahanan Natarajan said that the university decided to get tough to maintain academic rigor and safeguard its reputation globally. As a part of the new rule, the university did not allow students to apply and get copies of their answer sheets for reevaluation. Instead, the university said it will ask two teachers to evaluate answer papers and only the higher score will be considered. With Tuesday's resolution, more than 1,300 students are likely to benefit. "We are happy that the university has changed its decision," said S Raghavan, whose son failed to clear first-year MBBS. But many of the university officials said they were forced to revoke the decision due to pressure from the government.

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