There was not even a single application from any NRI-Scheduled Caste (SC) candidate for admission in MBBS course at Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32. However, UT home secretary Anil Kumar cited a representation by some candidates in his controversial orders which intended to take one seat from the NRI pool and give it to a UT candidate belonging to the SC category.
HT on June 26 had highlighted that how in a case of favouritism, just two days before counselling, the GMCH director, Dr Atul Sachdev, issued corrigendum on the orders of the home secretary saying to reserve one NRI seat for candidate belonging to the SC category. The order further said if an NRI seat remained vacant, then it would be reverted to SC-UT candidate, instead of the seat going to an NRI candidate.
According to sources in GMCH, there is not even a single application by any SC-NRI candidate seeking benefit under the SC reservation. Raising further eyebrows on the home secretary’s action is the fact that the NRI admission application form does not have any sub-category or column, which asks the candidates to mention their caste.
According to experts, it is not just a matter of stealing a seat from NRI and giving it to a student belonging to another category, but it also has financial implications for the state.
“Going by the rule, this seat could have generated around ? 50 lakh ($75,000) for the state treasury. If any official has tried to cause loss to the state exchequer, the matter must be probed. The UT administrator or home ministry should start an independent inquiry in the case,” said Dr Inderveer Singh, Association of Medical Aspirants, Punjab.
In his order, UT home secretary had claimed that he received representation from the SC-NRI candidates on the basis of which he asked the GMCH director to introduce reservation in NRI seats. Interestingly, even the communiqué he sent to GMCH director regarding the implementation of reservation in NRI pool, didn’t carry copy of the representation of the NRI-SC candidates.
On Thursday, parents of the affected candidates approached the home secretary personally as well his office to get a copy of the representation of NRI-SC candidates. However, they were refused information even under the RTI Act by saying that the representations were confidential.