In a meeting with deputy chief minister Sukhbir Badal, a delegation of parents of medical aspirants in Punjab on Monday appealed him not to relax the admission criteria for candidates belonging to NRI and other reserved categories.
The parents, in their representation, said they were alarmed and aggrieved by the reports in the media that the state government had sent a letter to the Medical Council of India (MCI), seeking relaxation in admission criteria for these categories.
Dr Indervir Gill, speaking on the behalf of the Association of Parents of Medical Aspirants, said Sukhbir assured them that he would not allow injustice with the general category students and the admission would be done as per the guidelines.
The parents later gave the representation to Medical education principal secretary Vini Mahajan. In the representation, the parents said the move was not only a blatant violation and subversion of the admission rules as approved by the MCI and adopted by the Punjab government, it would also be a grave injustice to the meritorious candidates who had qualified the All India Pre-Medical Test (AIPMT) and were eligible for MBBS seats in Punjab under the state quota.
They said the MCI stipulations prescribed in the Baba Farid University of Health Sciences (BFUHS) prospectus said the students of general as well as reserved categories, including NRIs, had to secure a minimum 50% marks in the AIPMT (40% for scheduled castes) to be eligible for the state quota and all-India quota seats.
To raise the standard of medical education, it was made mandatory for NRI students to take AIPMT and meet the 50% criteria to be eligible for the MBBS seats reserved for them in Punjab medical colleges. “The NRI students never raised an objection, in the first place, to introduction of the AIPMT test for them, and many of them did take the AIPMT,” said Dr Gill. He said the BFUHS prospectus clearly states (page 21, para 25 (vii) that “any seats remaining vacant under the NRI quota during/after the second counselling of NRI quota in state colleges, shall go to the general category, and in unaided private colleges/minority colleges, shall go to general category of the management/minority quota. The NRI leftover seats converted into government quota/management/minority quota will be filled by the counselling committee from among the eligible candidates”.
Also, the BFUHS prospectus, para 28 (k) of general conditions, says “seats remaining vacant under any of the reserved categories shall be transferred to the general category and vice-versa”.
Now, when the second counselling under the BFUHS is over, the representation stated, the ineligible NRI candidates and some Punjab medical colleges had demanded that the criteria to fill the vacant NRI quota seats be lowered/ scrapped to make them eligible for the vacant NRI quota seats. “This is clearly an afterthought to grab the MBBS medical seats in Punjab by subverting the rules. The NRI lobby, it seems, is flaunting its money power to achieve the illegal demand,” said the representation.
They said there were a large number of eligible/qualified general candidates in the admission queue and, hence, the Punjab government had no justification for approaching the MCI for relaxation of eligibility for vacant NRI/reserved category seats.