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Supreme Court ruling on PG medical entrance test

By T. Padmanabha Rao

NEW DELHI, APRIL 30. The Supreme Court has ruled that the States/Union Territories/Universities should allow students, who had pursued MBBS courses under `15 per cent All Indian quota' outside their home states to participate in the `entrance examination' for admission to Post-Graduate medical courses held in their home states irrespective of any kind of preference that may have been adopted for selection to PG courses.

Mr. Justice S.Rajendra Babu, speaking for himself and Mr. Justice R.C. Lahoti, was disposing of a group of writ petitions from certain MBBS graduates (petitioners), who successfully pursued their MBBS courses in different states other than their `home states', having obtained seats in the concerned medical courses on selection under `All India 15 per cent quota'. The petitioners' grievance was that the States or concerned authorities had framed rules for admission to PG medical courses in such a way that they could neither pursue their studies in the migrated state nor in their home state.

The Bench however, made it ``clear that we (the Apex Court) are not deciding that vexed question of attaining uniformity in all P.G. courses all over the country except to the extent indicated earlier nor we (the Bench) are in a position to say whether `institutional preference' based on any study in an institution or requirement of residence or both fully comply with the various directions issued by this Court from time to time''.

The Bench, therefore, said ``it would be appropriate for the concerned states or other authorities to achieve uniformity by adopting `institutional and/or residential preference' in terms of the decisions'' concerned of the Apex Court, otherwise, if challenged, the concerned provisions ``may not stand scrutiny of the Court''.

In a typical case, the plea of the petitioner was that, as he was born and brought up in Delhi, he should be permitted to participate in the `entrance examination', conducted by the Delhi University for admission to the P.G. courses against the `75 per cent seats quota' for the concerned candidates of the Delhi University, though he completed MBBS in Tamil Nadu as a student under `15 per cent all-India quota'. Neither was he permitted in Tamil Nadu to appear in `the entrance examination' on the ground that ``he is not a resident of that State'' nor was he allowed to take the `entrance examination' being conducted by the Delhi University because he did not study for the last five years (MBBS) in the Delhi University.

The stand of the Delhi University and other students opposed to the petitioner was that the petitioner could compete for ``the all-India 25 per cent of seats'' to be filled up ``on all- India basis'' by the candidates selected and sponsored by the Director General of Health Services, the remaining 75 per cent having been earmarked for students, graduated from Delhi University.

It was also contended that if the petitioner's claim was accepted, he would become eligible for ``25 per cent all-India quota'' in all institutions in the country and also for 75 per cent seats in Tamil Nadu and 75 per cent in Delhi and that, thus he would have an opportunity of competing against 175 per cent of seats (for admission to PG medical course).

The Bench failed ``to see any unfair advantage (to the petitioner) in this regard inasmuch as all students have to take common entrance test with reference to their home state and face stiff competition'' and ``the students in home state if at all are put to disadvantage only to a small degree of taking competition with respect to very few students falling in that category of the petitioner''. On the other hand, ``inclusion of such students will make it (competition) broad-based as well thereby striking a balance''.