New Delhi, Mar 24: The Minister of State (Health and Family Welfare), Ashwini Kumar Choubey informed Parliament on Friday that a total of 437 seats are vacant in MBBS course for the academic year 2017-18.

In a written reply to the Lok Sabha, the minister also stated that, as per the provisions of the Graduate Medical Education Regulations, 1997, Directorate General of Health Services, MoHFW is the Designated Authority for counseling for admission to MBBS course for the 15% All India Quota seats of the contributing States and all MBBS seats of Medical Educational Institutions of the Central Government, Universities established by an Act of Parliament and the Deemed Universities. The counseling for the rest lies with State/Union Territory Government.

He also added that, 15 per cent All India Quota Seats, if left vacant, even after the last date of joining, then they are deemed to be converted into the state quota to be filled up by the related states in this regard.

The process of admission to the medical courses through a common counseling is to be completed in accordance with the statutory time schedule which provides that no admission in the MBBS course is allowed after 31st August. Thus, it is not permissible to fill up the vacant seats from NEET qualifiers before NEET – 2018, Chaubey said.