Admissions to private unaided medical colleges may be delayed this year, as the Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER) has temporarily put on hold the publication of the first select list of students eligible for admissions to MBBS and BDS courses in private colleges.
Special counsel for the state government, advocate LM Acharya, on Thursday informed the division bench of chief justice Manjula Chellur and justice MS Sonak that the DMER will not publish until September 5, the first select list which was scheduled to be published on September 3.
Acharya was responding to a petition filed by Mahatma Gandhi Vidya Mandir Trust, which runs a dental college at Nashik, challenging the validity of a rule framed by the state government under provisions of the Maharashtra Unaided Professional Educational Institutions (Regulation of Admissions and Fees) Act, 2015.
The rule takes away the right of the private unaided medical colleges to hold their own common entrance test (CET) and undertake their own separate common admission process (CAP).
Advocate VM Thorat, who argued for the petitioner institution, submitted that the Supreme Court has in the TMA Pai Foundation case recognised the right of private unaided medical institutions to hold their own CET and conduct their own CAP rounds for admitting students in their medical and dental colleges.
On Thursday, he, however, restricted his arguments to the interim relief of allowing the private unaided medical colleges to admit students from outside Maharashtra.
Advocate Thorat pointed out that even though in the current academic year, the state government has relaxed the requirement for a domicile certificate, the moment students from outside Maharashtra click “no” before the column of Domicile Certificate in the online form, the system automatically rejects their forms. Thorat complained that the problem had been created because of unnecessary complications and ambiguities in the rules framed under the 2015 legislation.
Acharya, on the other hand, submitted that the relaxation in submitting domicile certificate even for this year is not absolute and the students are exempted from producing domicile certificate only if they have cleared SSC and HSC examinations from Maharashtra. Thus, according to him, in all other cases students will have to produce domicile certificate for seeking admission to medical courses in Maharashtra.
He, however, stated that the DMER will not publish the first select list for admission to medical courses in private unaided colleges until Tuesday, when the matter is posted for further hearing, and in the meanwhile, he will seek a clarification about the rules from the government.