The Delhi High Court has slammed the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) for wasting precious postgraduate medical seats, directing the health ministry to probe the wastage and drilling holes in the premier medical school’s arguments.
Hindustan Times had, on December 5, exposed how AIIMS had allowed almost 30% of its highly coveted postgraduate seats to go waste over the past three years because of flaws in its admission process.
The institute argued that the vacant seats — left by a growing number of students who take up seats before quitting to join preferred streams at other institutions — would be transferred to the next academic session, claiming that this would prevent wastage.
But a division bench of chief justice Deepak Misra and justice Manmohan has asked AIIMS to promptly call a meeting of its academic committee and explain why it was transferring vacant seats instead of offering them to students through open counselling.
The bench also picked holes in the AIIMS claim that it transfers vacant seats to the next session, by pointing out that the number of seats was decreasing annually, whereas it should have increased, if earlier vacant seats were added.
In at least two independent orders, the Supreme Court has rejected the transfer of seats as valid.
Directing the health ministry to probe the seat wastage, the bench also asked the government to find out why AIIMS was following an admission and counselling process that leads to wastage of seats.
As reported by Hindustan Times, details obtained through the Right to Information Act revealed that 138 students admitted to AIIMS postgraduate programmes, over the past three years, soon quit, joining preferred courses at other institutes. Contrary to what AIIMS claimed in its own prospectus, it did not hold open counsel-lling for seats that fell vacant this year.
The High Court bench also challenged the institute’s policy of giving preference to its MBBS students for postgraduate seats.