The Punjab and Haryana high court on Monday directed the Punjab government and the Baba Farid University of Health Sciences (BFUHS), Faridkot, to consider rural medical officers (RMOs) working under zila parishads for admission to the post-graduate course-2013 in 40% general category quota only for the leftover seats.
Counselling for admission to the 40% open category had been conducted on June 30. The second counselling is scheduled on Tuesday (July 30), only for the leftover seats.
The directions came from the division bench comprising chief justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and justice Augustine George Masih on a petition filed by Dr Gajinder Pal Singh Kaler for clarification of the orders passed by the court in the original case on July 25.
In its order on July 25, the high court, while upholding the Punjab government rules, had said that RMOs could not be treated on a par with Punjab Civil Medical Service (PCMS) doctors for using 60% in-service quota in post-graduation course admission. But the court had also made it clear that RMOs did have an opportunity to pursue the PG course under the 40% open quota.
The court said on Monday, “We thus clarify that there has not to be disturbance of the already allocated seats in general category, but whatever further seats remain vacant or are spillover from 50% seats quota, the RMOs will only compete with the difference that there would be weightage (of rural service) given to them as per clause 9 of the Medical Council of India (MCI) regulations.”
Clause 9 of the regulations dated February 15, 2012, says: “In determining the merit of candidates who are in service of government/public authority, weightage in the marks may be given by the government/competent authority as an incentive at the rate of 10% of the marks obtained for each year of the service in remote and/or difficult areas up to the maximum of 30% of the marks obtained in the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test.”
The state government notification dated April 4, 2013, says that in government institutions, 50% of the seats will be filled by the union government at the all-India level through National Eligibility and Entrance Test, Post Graduation (NEETPG). The remaining seats will be filled through NEET-PG at the state level from candidates having Punjab-resident status.
Of the remaining seats, 60% will be filled from among the eligible PCMS/PCMS(dental)/Punjab Dental Education Service(PDES) in-service doctors, and 40% will be open to all eligible medical and dental science graduates.
The candidates should be regular PCMS employees with at least four-year service in very difficult area or six-year service in difficult area or an appropriate combination of both. The RMOs, once selected in the PCMS, get benefits of rural service rendered under zila parishads.