The Punjab government will move the Supreme Court against the recent verdict of the Punjab and Haryana high court on the postgraduate (PG) medical admissions in the state.
The court has ordered recasting of the merit list by giving 30% incentive to rural medical doctors on their National Eligibility and Entrance Test (NEET) score under the state quota seats.
Confirming the decision, state medical education secretary Vikas Partap said “feeling aggrieved” by the HC orders, the department is filing a special leave petition in the apex court.
The orders came at a time when most PG seats in the state’s medical colleges were already filled by Faridkot-based Baba Farid University of Health Sciences in its first admission counselling from April 13 to 15.
Several students fear losing their recently-allotted seats in light of these orders, even as the classes have already begun. Puneet Vijan, a Jalandhar resident, said his daughter left her seats in other prestigious colleges to take admission in Punjab under the state quota. “Her rank is likely to drop in case the HC orders are implemented. We are really worried,” he said.
What is the issue?
Under Punjab’s rules, while 50% of the total seats in government colleges were filled at the all-India level, the remaining 50% were reserved for students with state domicile and in-service Punjab Civil Medical Service (PCMS) government doctors, who were granted 30% incentive on their NEET score. There was no special privilege for PCMS doctors in private colleges. The logic behind this incentive to government doctors, said an official, was to make sure that they work in rural areas for six years and further work as specialists in government hospitals for 10 years after completion of their PG degrees.
Why HC ordered recasting?
The order came after the rural medical officers (RMOs) appointed in subsidiary heath centres run by zila parishads filed a petition in the HC, seeking similar incentive on the lines of PCMS doctors. The court accepted their plea and also extended the privilege to private medical institutions.
Who are worst-affected?
The worst-affected are the open category students, who are not in government service, as they will now have to compete with highly incentivised PCMS and RMOs in order to get PG seats under state quota at a time when PG seats are already limited. Dr Akhil Sareen, member of the PCMS association, said being the affected party along with students, they will become party to the case the state moves the apex court. “Our review petition application is also pending in the high court, he added
Dr Aslam Parvez, state president, RMO association, however said, “We stand by the HC judgement and are ready to take our fight wherever the government wants to take it.”
He added that it is not the first matter to be heard in SC, which has already allowed incentive scores to all doctors under any public authority in a case filed by Uttar Pradesh-based doctor.