Deemed medical and dental institutes in Maharashtra are ready to take the state Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER) back to the Supreme Court (SC). This time, to fight to safeguard their autonomous status.
The 10 medical and dental institutes in the state have been objecting to the DMER’s proposal to the state medical education department requesting that deemed universities be brought under the purview of the admission regulation Act for private institutes as the move will mean that deemed institutes will automatically lose their autonomous status.
“Why should we lose our autonomous status, which was given to institutes by the University Grants Commission (UGC)? We will use all the power to overturn this proposal,” said the director of a deemed medical institute on condition of anonymity.
This year, the Apex Court made it clear that admissions to all medical and dental institutes in the country will be conducted on the basis of the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) score. An ordinance passed by the President in May allowed Common Entrance Test (CET) to be applicable to only government-run medical and dental institutes, while other institutes had to follow NEET scores.
While the SC had recommended a common admissions process, deemed institutes fought at the Bombay high court (HC) to maintain their autonomous status and conduct their own admissions, on the basis of NEET scores.
“The DMER challenged the HC’s decision in the SC and was allowed to conduct admissions to our seats. While medical seats have been filled up, 85% of seats in our dental institute are vacant. Never in the past 25 years have we faced such a situation. On what basis is DMER seeking full control of our institute?” said Shashank Dalvi, vice-chancellor of Pravara Institute of Medical Sciences in Ahmednagar.
He said that dental seats in various deemed institutes are left vacant this year after the DMER took over the admissions process.
The law and judiciary department of the state government has agreed to go through DMER’s proposal, seeking control over the functions of deemed medical and dental institutes. “There have been several complaints of deemed institutes charging outrageous fees and also hiking the same every year and so, we have requested all institutes to be brought under similar Act in our state. The medical education department had forwarded our proposal to the law and judiciary department,” said Dr Pravin Shingare director, DMER.
‘Need more time to fill vacant seats’
- Deemed institutes have requested the Dental Council of India to seek an extension from the SC to fill vacant seats in their institutes. Many institutes have complained of having 50% or more vacant seats this year.
- “It’ll be unfair if the seats lapse, especially since there are so many students hoping to bag a seat in our institutes,” said Shashank Dalvi, vice-chancellor of Pravara Institute of Medical Sciences in Ahmednagar.