Even though the row over eligibility criteria for admissions to the MBBS program under the 85% medical quota for Punjab has been settled for now — at least till the 2015-16 academic session— those planning to enroll in the course in the following year are still unclear about the eligibility rules.
Recently, over 200 students, who cleared Class 10 examinations from outside Punjab, submitted a representation to the state government, requesting it to clear its stand over eligibility norms for admissions for the 2016-17 session so that they could plan accordingly.
One of the most important requisites to be eligible for admission to Punjab medical colleges is that one should have passed the Class 12 examination from the state. However, the government changed its medical eligibility rules earlier this year by making Class 10 compulsory along with Class 12 for admission to state medical colleges. This led to panic among hundreds of students,-both within and outside the state, who had not passed Class 10 from Punjab but were studying in Class 12 from the state.
The condition with regard to Class 10 was finally dropped following the intervention of the Punjab and High Court, bringing relief for not only the current batch of students but also for those who will be eligible for admissions to Punjab medical colleges for the 2015-16 session.
But those who have just passed Class 10 are in fix. Chandigarh-based academician, Arvind Goyal, said if the Punjab government wanted to make any changes in the eligibility criteria, the decision should be taken at this stage itself. “This is because several students who will be eligible for admissions to medical colleges in the 2016-17 session are set to take admission in Class 11 currently. If they’re made aware about the government’s norms in advance, it will be easier for them to plan their career accordingly,” he said.
“The high court has also given the liberty to the state government to incorporate the relevant provision for the subsequent academic years too,” he added.
A student, Ishan, said, “If the rules are announced on time, there’ll be no retrospective effect for the students. The state government can introduce any new condition for admission to its state medical quota, but it should do so on time so that our career is not at stake and we can plan things accordingly.” Students have also demanded clarity over the rider put by the Punjab government over giving access to Chandigarh students to its state medical quota.
The high court, on two occasions, had made it clear that students who had cleared their Class 11 and 12 exams from Chandigarh should be made eligible for admissions to Punjab medical colleges because Chandigarh, being a capital city, was very much a part of Punjab.
But, neither the Punjab government nor the Chandigarh administration has come out with any clarification on this issue.