SC notice to Rajasthan, MCI over bonus marks for PG seats
The Supreme Court issued notices to the Rajasthan government and the Medical Council of India (MCI) on Thursday over bonus marks to in-service doctors, working in remote or difficult areas, who appeared in the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test – Post Graduate (NEET-PG) 2016jaipur Updated: Apr 13, 2017 20:42 IST
The Supreme Court issued notices to the Rajasthan government and the Medical Council of India (MCI) on Thursday over bonus marks to in-service doctors, working in remote or difficult areas, who appeared in the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test – Post Graduate (NEET-PG) 2016.
On April 7 last year, a double bench of the Rajasthan high court had mandated the state government to give up to 30% bonus marks to such in-service government doctors for PG seats.
Hearing a petition challenging the high court order, a three-judge bench of the apex court called the lawyers of the state government and the MCI for a hearing on April 17. The bench said the result of NEET-PG 2016 will be subject to outcome of the special leave petition filed by the non-service doctors or freshers who appeared for the test, said Purvi Mathur, a counsel for the non-service doctors.
The state government had declared the merit list of the students for 50% of the PG seats in state’s medical colleges by giving 10% additional marks in NEET-PG to those candidates who served in rural areas.
After a petition was filed in the high court, a single-judge bench quashed the merit list, saying the incentive can’t be given until the government defines the ‘remote and/or difficult areas’ as specified in the MCI regulations, said Mathur.
A clause in an MCI regulation regarding PG seats says the government may give an incentive of 10% and up to 30% to doctors working in ‘remote and/or difficult areas’.
Hearing an appeal by the aggrieved party, the division bench set aside the single-bench order on April 7 and gave 10%, 20% and 30% incentive to the in-service doctors with one-year, two-year and three-year experience, respectively.
The division bench order was challenged by the non-service doctors in the SC.
“Earlier in the state quota, there used to be 50% in-service doctors and 50% non-service doctors. Now there is not even a single non-service doctor in the top 100,” said Dr Deepak Raj, a non-service doctor. “My rank is 715. If the bonus to in-service doctors is done away with, I will easily be in the top 200.”
Sahir Hussain, another counsel for the non-service doctors, said the division bench order has been challenged on three grounds.
“One, the state should first define the term ‘remote and/or difficult areas’; second, the decision to give bonus marks can’t be taken after the selection procedure has started; and third, the MCI regulations use the word ‘may’ and are therefore discretionary and not mandatory.”
Dr Nasreen Bharti, general secretary of the All Rajasthan In-service Doctors’ Association told HT that the division bench had pronounced the order using a year-old SC judgment as a precedent. “The MBBS graduates are now either going to private hospitals or foreign countries. Those going to rural areas and serving the public should get the benefits,” she said.