Private medical and dental colleges from Maharashtra have submitted a plea in the Supreme Court, challenging the Medical Council of India’s (MCI) decision to conduct admission to all medical and dental colleges, including private and deemed, through the state-led centralised admission process (CAP).
According to a notification from MCI, issued on March 11, admissions to all medical and dental colleges will be based on the marks obtained by applicants in National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) and will be done through the state-led Common Admission Process. Following the MCI directive, the state government issued notifications to all private and deemed medical colleges in Maharashtra.
The colleges, however, feel that the centralised admissions violate their right to conduct their own admissions. “The government wants to conduct our admissions, even though it doesn’t pay us anything. The MCI directive violates the Supreme Court constitutional bench’s decision,” said Kamal Kishore Kadam, president of the Association of Management of Unaided Private Medical and Dental Colleges. He was referring to the apex court’s 2002 judgment of TMA Pai Foundation vs State of Karnataka.
Last year the state’s directorate of medical education and research (DMER) had issued a notice that it would conduct admissions to private and deemed institutes, which was successfully challenged by the colleges in Bombay high court. While the state challenged the HC verdict in SC, by that time most of the seats were filled. The apex court allowed the state to fill the remaining seats and directed HC to decide the matter for the next academic year. The high court is yet to hear the matter.
Parents believe that allowing private colleges to conduct their own admissions often results in malpractices. “The colleges manipulate the marks of students to give back door entry to undeserving candidates. If we have the common entrance examination, why can’t have a common admission mechanism?” said Sudha Shenoy, a parent.