Punjab’s Class-10 certificate will also be mandatory for admission to undergraduate medical courses in the state, but only from the session 2019-20.
Already, candidates must have passed Classes 11 and 12 from Punjab to claim these seats. The rule doesn’t change for even the natives in boarding schools outside.
Only the next three batches of Class 12 will enjoy the exemption. “Beyond that, you won’t be eligible for our medical colleges without passing Class 10 from Punjab,” state medical education secretary Hussan Lal told HT here on Tuesday. “If outside students want to join medical colleges in Punjab three years on, they must enter Class 10 in the state in the session 2016-17. Both parents and students have enough time to make up their mind,” he added.
HC directions led to 3-year window
Officials said the three-year window was based on the Punjab and Haryana high court directions of July 2, 2014. That year, the state government had brought in the Class-10 rule with immediate effect, rendering hundreds of aspirants ineligible because they hadn’t done matriculation from Punjab. The high court had turned down the rule.
PMT trainers satisfied
Welcoming the new move, Chandigarh-based PMT (pre-medical test) trainer Arvind Goyal said students now had time to adjust. “Punjab attracts so many students from outside because it has more than 10 medical colleges with nearly 800 MBBS (bachelor of medicine and bachelor or surgery) and more than 1,000 BDS (bachelor of dental science) seats,” he added.
UT aspirants need Punjab domicile
The latest notification of the Punjab government again allows medical seats in the upcoming session to only those students from Classes 11 and 12 in Chandigarh who are bona-fide residents of Punjab.
In 2014, the Punjab and Haryana high court while disposing of a petition by UT student Harleen Cheema had ruled that Chandigarh being the capital of Punjab, its students had right to 85 state quota in medical college seats. Since then, the UT students have been asking for relief but the Punjab government still insists on state domicile, even though the high court judgment doesn’t make this segregation.
Justifying the stand, Punjab medical education secretary Hussan Lal said: “Allowing the UT candidates in will be giving a backdoor to students from the other states, which will harm the interests of our students.”
Fee unchanged, for now
A year after threefold increase in the MBBS/BDS tuition fee in the state-run colleges, the Punjab medical education department has not proposed further hike in the upcoming session. Even then, any increase in future can’t be ruled out. There was no hike proposed even in last session’s notification, but before the beginning of it, the charges were raised in July. Asked whether any surprise was in store for the next session as well, medical education secretary Hussan Lal said “so far none, but these decisions are taken at the highest level”.