List of differently abled medical candidates on hold, state tells Bombay high court
Assistant government pleader, SB Kalel, on Wednesday informed the Bombay high court the publication of the list of differently abled candidates seeking admission to post-graduate medical and dental courses has been put on hold till special medical boards are constituted to assess people with learning disabilities
The case was being heard by the division bench of Justice Ranjit More and Justice Sadhana Jadhav. Kalel was responding to two separate petitions filed by Dr Swapnil Jadhav and Dr Faizal Pokar, both of whom wish to pursue a post-graduate education in medicine.
The petitions highlighted the fact that no institution has been designated for assessing the disability of those with learning disabilities – referred to as intellectual disabilities under the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 -
Their counsel, advocate Pooja Thorat, pointed out that an admission rule requires these candidates to produce a medical disability certificate form the appropriate authority. However, the rule does not specify which the appropriate authority is.
Advocate Thorat said Dr Pokar approached the Director of Medical Education and Research (DMER), Maharashtra and wrote to the central authorities. After receiving no response, he visited the All India Institute of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (AIPMR). He was told that AIPMR can assess only locomotor disabilities and was not equipped to assess intellectual disabilities.
He visited another hospital in Delhi - certified as an appropriate authority by a notification issued by the Director General of Health Services - but was denied as he is a Mumbai citizen and asked to get a certificate from a local authorised hospital in Mumbai.
He approached the high court when he noted that he was being considered for admission, not under the ‘persons with disabilities’ category, but the open category.
However, when Pokar was studying in Class 12, the CET (common entrance test) cell had verified the certificate stating he was diagnosed with dyslexia, dysgraphia and dyscalculia issued by the Paediatric Neuro-development Centre at Sion Hospital.
SC reprieve for non-Maharashtra students
In a reprieve for over 300 post-graduate medical students, the Supreme Court has upheld a recent Bombay high court order striking down a rule that prohibited non-Maharashtra students (students without Maharashtra domicile) from seeking admission to post-graduate medical courses in the state, even if they have completed their graduate medical and dental courses from the State.
Until last year, the only eligibility condition necessary to seek admission to a post-graduate medical or dental course in the state was to complete an MBBS or BDS course in the state. The requirement of being domicile of Maharashtra was introduced by the DMER in a notice issued on November 15, 2017.
So far, DMER had not accepted preference forms of these candidates, said their lawyer, Pooja Thorat. “Now, after the Supreme Court order they have no option but to accept their preference forms,” Thorat said.