Published: 06th September 2017
Meet Siddhant Nair, the ONLY student who got an MBBS seat at CMC Vellore this year
Not allowed to carry on admission their way, CMC Vellore has taken the bold and unconventional move of admitting just one student — the son of a martyr based out of Mumbai
The Christian Medical College (CMC), Vellore has been fighting to keep their admission and counselling process in-house for as long as NEET and a call for single-window counselling have been floating around. With the Supreme Court clamping down on all MBBS admissions in Tamil Nadu this year, they've chosen to respond in the most Gandhian way possible. Non-cooperation. The college council decided to take an uncanny, un-medical college stance by admitting just 1 student to their MBBS programme, against the 100 seats that they are allowed to admit by the MCI.
Explaining why they've taken this unusual stance, Dr Sunil Thomas Chandy, Director of CMC, Vellore, explained, "Every year we have a candidate who has been nominated by the government of India, who is usually the child of a soldier. That candidate came, we admitted him and we have started classes for him. We are not against the government or the judiciary. We have great faith in the judiciary. We have not been able to conduct our regular admissions despite accepting NEET because we challenged common counselling. Yet, we have as an institution decided to run this year's course as a whole for the one student who was nominated by the government."
Keeping the faith: Dr Sunil Chandy says they are hopeful that the courts will return a favourable decision
So who's that one, solitary student who's an MBBS batch unto himself?
Meet Siddhant Nair, son of the late Major Rajesh Nair, an officer martyred in the line of duty at Doda and Supriya Nair, a counselling psychologist. Siddhant got the 3rd rank in the Defense Quota, (nominated by the Government of India) and he had 15 colleges to choose from. He even joined (Army College of Medical Science) ACMS initially, but after a lot of research and deliberation, chose to go to CMC because he was particular about community service. "It is the only private college in TN that has opened up its doors just for a defense quota student. so even though he got in other top colleges, he chose to come to CMC, said his mother, who has been thrilled with her son's decision.
Did they know that he was going to be the only student around, something hadn't happened since CMC started the MBBS course in 1942? "We were told that he could be the only student for a while but we do hope that more students join later at least. We completely understand that the institute is focused on community service and they should be allowed to admit students who they think will commit to serving the society," she said and added of her son who started classes on Monday, "I'm just not worried about Siddhant, since it is a community college I am sure that they will ensure he has friends. His classes would be integrated with the seniors or he'll work with his teachers, either way, I know that he will be fine because of the atmosphere here. Also, he is a very adaptive boy, so he will be able to get used to it in no time."
One to tango: Siddhant Nair before he got to CMC
Inverted Ratio: Ten teachers, One Student
And what about the teachers? "Our teachers are determined. We will have regular lectures. He will have all the attention. Usually, it's one lecturer and hundred students. Now it will be 10 lecturers for one student. the point is we want to run the course. We are not against running the course," said Dr Chandy with determination. With over 7000 patients visiting their OPD every single day, it's not like there will ever be a dearth of work at a medical behemoth like CMC.
Supriya was all praise for the college administration because they kept their promise to her and her son despite all the turmoil, "We were informed that there were chances that counselling might not happen but we would be assured a seat and they kept their word," she explained.
Way forward: Supriya Nair is immensely psyched about her son getting into CMC, Vellore
Incidentally, Siddhant has always wanted to do medicine, always reading medical journals and was always brushing up his medical terminology and vocabulary, "His father was martyred in 2001 while fighting militants. He has lived through that and ever since he has wanted to give back to society. It is something he got from his father. So, it is his dream come true to study at CMC," she concluded.
(With inputs from Blessy Mathew Prasad)