In a haste to amend the eligibility criteria for state medical quota, Punjab government has forgotten to safeguard the interests of its own regular employees posted outside the state.
The state government, in its recent notification made classes 10th and 10+2 mandatory from a school in Punjab for getting eligibility for its 85% state quota.
While the notification dated March 7 gave exemption of Class 10+2 to children of Punjab government employees working outside the state, no exemption has been granted for the mandatory Class-10 clause to them that has otherwise rendered hundreds of students ineligible both within as well as outside the state for its medical quota.
The technical glitch now means that children of Punjab government employees serving outside the state will have to produce a Class-10 certificate from a school in Punjab to avail the benefit of the quota.
Interestingly, the category of Punjab government employees working outside the state also includes children of IAS, IPS and IFS officers, serving judges and employees of the Punjab and Haryana high court and employees of boards/corporation/ statutory bodies of the Punjab government, holding posts outside the state. They all would be affected by the notification.
The technical glitch will also render ineligible children of Punjab government employees who have retired and are set to retire during their service outside the state in 2013-14, besides children of employees of military/paramilitary forces personnel who were born in Punjab at the time of their entry to the service.
The exemption list is long as it also includes candidates belonging to minority community competing for the minority quota in the minority institution, candidates seeking admission under the NRI quota and wards of defence personnel posted in Punjab. An official asserted that senior officials while amending the rules forgot to change the rules for these exempted categories. However, amending the notification was already under their consideration, he said.
UP Singh, secretary of affected parents’ forum, said the error clearly indicated that the decision of the state government to introduce Class 10 as part of the eligibility criteria was in haste and not well thought over.
“While the state government might amend the rules to safeguard these categories, what about our children who do not enjoy any privilege,” said Dr. SS Sodhi, another forum member.
He said not only non-Punjab resident students but also bonafide residents of Punjab were getting affected by the Class-10 clause. It must be amended for everyone, he added. Vini Mahajan, secretary, medical education and research, was not available for comment.