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CHENNAI: Counselling for post-graduate medical students for the all-India quota, deemed universities, central universities, ESIC and AFMC will begin on March 15, a schedule released by the Directorate General of Health Services said. Registration for the online counselling opens on March 15 and results of the first round of counselling will be available on March 27. The process for second round will begin on April 5 and the results will be available on April 12. While there will be no third round of counselling for government seats under the all-India quota, mop-up rounds will be held for central, deemed and ESIC colleges. While vacant seats will be returned to the states for counselling by April 22, other universities will receive it after mop-up by May 27. The stray vacancy round of counselling will be completed by May 31. Counselling date for the state, however, is yet to be announced by the Directorate of Medical Education. It will be made after the state Health Department passes a GO on the incentive marks for in-service candidates. A committee chaired by retired judge A Selvam has recommended incentives for doctors working in hilly regions, remote and rural areas, with a maximum of 30% additional marks over their PG NEET scores. “The recommendation is with the government. It can be implemented only if it is issued as a GO by the state health department,” said director of medical education Dr A Edwin Joe. The National Board of Examination summary shows that of the 79,633 who qualified, 11,121 were from Tamil Nadu, which also had the most candidates (17,067) who appeared, compared to 9,219 from Karnataka, 7,441 from Maharashtra and 6,323 from Andhra Pradesh. Though qualifying in the exam may not guarantee seats, educationists say the high numbers give TN candidates more opportunity to get placed in premium colleges outside the state and increases the possibility of more state candidates getting seats in TN government colleges. The directorate of medical education received the Centre’s permission, from the board of governors in supersession of the Medical Council of India, on Thursday to convert 384 of its 396 PG diploma seats into PG degree seats. In addition, the state has permission to start 124 new PG degree courses across 14 staterun medical colleges. In all, government medical colleges will have 1,758 post-graduate seats in 2019. The state will have about 870 PG degree government college seats in its kitty after offering an equal number to the DGHS for the all-India counselling.