The Baba Farid University of Health Sciences (BFUHS) here has postponed the second counselling for the MBBS and BDS seats that remain vacant across the state.
Scheduled from September 10 to 15, the counselling was put off at the eleventh hour to allow two private medical colleges to fill their 300 seats, if they still get approval from the Medical Council of India (MCI) and Supreme Court. By postponing the second round, the final under the apex court's directions in the Priya Gupta case, the university is alleged to have violated the Supreme Court orders in two ways.
First, any medical or dental college approved after July 15 has no right to make admission to these courses for the current year, and the university concerned cannot include it in the counselling process. "The case of Chintpurni Medical College, Pathankot, is pending in the
apex court, and the MCI is yet to approve the Punjab Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS), Jalandhar. The cases were expected to be settled by September 10 but since it got delayed, we had to postpone counselling," said university vice-chancellor Dr Shavinder Singh Gill.
Problems if approved, problems if not
"If the seats remain excluded from second counselling, the university will have problem filling these, and in case the approval comes, our BDS (Bachelor of Dental Surgery) students might switch to the MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) courses in those colleges, leaving our seats vacant," said the V-C.
In another alleged violation of the apex court directions, the university has also extended the second counselling schedule beyond September 15 (September 13 to 18 now). The apex court has directed that if any seats remain vacant or are surrendered from the all-India quota, these have to be filled by September 15 of the relevant year as per merit, not by holding any extended or third round of counselling.
Put off under political pressure?
"The university, however, is still going to hold the second round of counselling. Seats in the NRI (non-resident Indian) and some other categories also remain vacant but the university has postponed counselling only to accommodate the Pathankot and Jalandhar colleges, as an influential member of the state's ruling alliance runs those," said a source in the university.
The V-C, however, justified the move, saying the apex court directions were for normal circumstances and not where litigation was involved. "We'll follow the latest directions in these particular cases, if any," he added. About extending the schedule, he said it could be done.