The parents of the MBBS aspirants rendered ineligible for the 85% state-quota seats by a sudden change of rule in Punjab have formed a forum to protest.
Guardians of Medical Aspirants, which will mobilise support against this policy shift, has signed up more than 100 parents from Punjab and Chandigarh in two days. On Friday, the members submitted a representation to Punjab secretary of medical education and research Vini Mahajan.
Demanding rollback of the March 7 notification that had made it mandatory for students to have passed Class 10 along with Class 12 from Punjab to be eligible for the state-quota MBBS seats, Dr UP Singh, secretary of the parents’ forum, said the state government had been requested to protect the interests of students at large. “But if the change was not undone by next week, the parents would move the Punjab and Haryana high court,” he added.
Earlier, the students who had passed Classes 11 and 12 from Punjab were eligible for these seats. To students from Chandigarh and Punjab who took Class-10 certificate from outside Punjab before they got into Classes 11 and 12 in the state, the change is a double blow. They are now ineligible for the state-medical-quota seats in Punjab as well as the union-territory-quota seats in Chandigarh.
“Punjab’s bona-fide residents won’t gain either,” said parents’ forum secretary Dr UP Singh, adding: “Moreover, it was unfair to change the criteria when hundreds of students were into MBBS preparation under the old rules.”
“Our children now can compete for only 15% open-category seats, where the competition is tougher,” said Vinay Sofat, another member of the forum. SAS Nagar MBBS aspirant Ishpreet Singh Ahluwalia, who studied in Class 10 in Chandigarh, is unable to study for the All-India Pre-Medical Test (AIPMT) coming up in a-month-and-a-half. “The notification has lowered my chances of becoming a doctor,” he said.
The parents’ forum also plans to move the Election Commission, since the notification came two days after the model code of conduct for the Lok Sabha elections was imposed in the country, and appears to be a populist move to appease the state’s students.
The parents said that Punjab’s putting a rider on the recent Punjab and Haryana high court verdict (which had asked Punjab to count students in Classes 11 and 12 in Chandigarh eligible for its state-quota MBBS/BDS seats) was also illegal and they would challenge it in the high court.