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HindustanTimes Thu,21 Aug 2014

Punjab's state medical quota challenged in HC

Sanjeev Verma, Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, March 31, 2014
First Published: 22:03 IST(31/3/2014) | Last Updated: 23:41 IST(31/3/2014)

The Punjab government's decision of making it mandatory for students to also pass class 10, apart from classes 11 and 12, from a Punjab school to become eligible for the 85% state quota seats of MBBS/BDS courses for the 2014-15 session has come under the Punjab and Haryana high court's scrutiny.

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Taking up the petition challenging the state government's March 7 notification to be implemented from retrospective effect, the high court on Monday issued notice of motion to the state government for April 22.

Hindustan Times had highlighted the issue through a series of news reports including "Punjab eligibility criteria leaves MBBS seat aspirants stunned" published on March 20.

Appearing for the petitioner students, advocate Rajiv Kataria informed the court that Punjab's department of medical education and research had issued the impugned notification on March 7, way after the last date of submission of All India Pre-Medical/Pre-Dental Entrance Test-2014 form (January 31). It was also submitted that the state government's notification had made hundreds of students like the petitioners ineligible for MBBS/BDS course after two years of passing class 10 examination in 2011.

The petitioners submitted that they had opted for Punjab medical colleges as their option as at the time of filling up the entrance form they were fully eligible as per the criteria existing on the day of filling up of the form.

The petitioner students have now sought directions to the state government that they be considered eligible for admission to both government and private medical colleges in Punjab.

The court was informed that the state government through its March 7 notification had circumvented the Punjab and Haryana high court's judgment in the case "Harleen Cheema vs State of Punjab" issued on August 27, 2013. The judgment had made it clear that for the purposes of qualifying, the examination of 10+2 having been passed from Chandigarh would be deemed on par with having been passed from Punjab.

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