The Punjab notification for the MBBS/BDS admission for the next session has raised brows as it says in case the PMET-qualified candidates fail to fill all the seats in the state, the admissions will be done on the basis of the marks in Class 12.
The notification issued last week says, "The admission to the MBBS/BDS courses in all the categories will be based on the marks obtained in PMET-2015. However, if the seats are still vacant, then admissions will be done on the basis of the marks obtained in Class 12 (qualifying exam)."
All these years, there was no such provision, which has been introduced only for the upcoming session.
However, experts say it is a violation of the Medical Council of India (MCI) rules.
Private medical and dental colleges in the state had already effected this move two years ago when they admitted even those students who had not qualified the Pre-Medical Test to the MBBS and BDS courses. Later, both the MCI and the Dental Council of India came down heavily on such students and refused to recognise their admissions. Some colleges even had to cancel them. However, some dental students were given relief by the Punjab and Haryana high court.
Reacting to the move, Dr Arvind Goyal, a Chandigarh-based academician and PMT trainer, said when the MCI was considering an entrance examination even for NRI candidates, such a move is disturbing. "An entrance examination ensures intake of only meritorious students into medical colleges. The MBBS degree concerns human lives, and only students with a certain level of knowledge and aptitude should be allowed to pursue it. No state should be allowed to ignore merit," he added.
Even the MCI guidelines say, "In states, having more than one university/board/examining body conducting the qualifying examination (or where there is more than one medical college under the administrative control of an authority), a competitive entrance examination should be held so as to achieve a uniform evaluation as there may be variation of standards at qualifying examinations conducted by different agencies."
However, state medical education secretary Husan Lal said when the fact had been mentioned in the notification, even the MCI would have no objection. "A similar pattern of filling vacant seats on the basis of marks in Class 12 is being followed by the Haryana government," he added.