At a time when medical aspirants are still confused about the curriculum for the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) 2017, the possibility that the state government will include deemed medical institutes in the Maharashtra Unaided Private Professional Education Institutes (Regulation of admission and fees) has brought much cheer amongst the students. While the amended Act has already been approved in the lower house late on Thursday night, all eyes are now on the upper house (Vidhan Parishad) expecting it to clear the same today in Nagpur.
“Our appeal was aimed at governing the deemed institutes as over the years we have received numerous complaints from students and parents about being misled by these institutes as they called for admission policies and fees on a whim. This amended law means all medical deemed institutes will be under our watch,” said Dr Pravin Shingare director, Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER). He added that once the law get the final nod from the government, admissions to all medical (MBBS) and dental (BDS) seats will have to be conducted via the Common Admission Process (CAP) rounds conducted by the state Common Entrance Test (CET) cell. “This will ensure all students go through only a single window process for admissions in 2017,” added Shingare.
In April 2016, the Supreme Court had ordered for all state conducted CETs for medical admissions to be replaced with NEET, to bring about uniformity in the process and save students from appearing for separate tests to get through different institutes.
While admissions to government-run medical and dental institutes in the state were still on in Maharashtra, an Ahmednagar-based deemed institute, Pravara Institute of Medical Sciences filed a writ petition in Bombay high court, seeking relief from centralised admissions process conducted by the state CET cell. Two days later, three other deemed institutes filed similar but separate petitions, using their independent status granted to them by the University Grants Commission (UGC). While the HC gave the permission to deemed institutes to conduct their own admissions, DMER filed a review petition in SC to overrule the HC order and eventually got the permission to fill remaining vacant seats in deemed institutes according to CAP.
Even as the state government is rejoicing the decision, it seems like institutes are gearing up to seek judicial help in this matter. “Ours is a 25 year old institute, where for 24 years not a single seat went vacant. However, after the state government took over admissions, they couldn’t finish the process in time and we have been left with many vacant seats in the BDS course. What’s the use of our deemed status if the government wants to control our admissions process?” asked an official from Pravara Institute of Medical Sciences.
He added that while they will wait until the amended law is cleared by the upper house at Nagpur today, they will be ready to fight tooth and nail for their case to be heard in the court. “We will fight for our rights, even if it means going all the way to the SC,” said the spokesperson of a Nashik-based dental institute.