NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has directed state governments to offer 15% seats of medical colleges to the Centre and conduct an ‘extended round
of counselling’ to fill seats as per merit. The directive comes in the wake of a petition filed with the apex court stating that some medical colleges in J&K, Chhattisgarh and Gujarat had refused to offer seats for Centre’s quota of 15% as per Medical Council of India (MCI) guidelines.
The petition filed in August 2009 said the states ‘deliberately’ delay counselling and seats are filled through ‘back-door entries’, a health ministry official said.
The move is likely to reduce corruption in the system and produce meritorious medical professionals in the country.
The Supreme Court, in its directive, has also suggested to conduct a single exam for MBBS as against the current system of separate exams for Centre and tests for respective state medical colleges.
“As per the Supreme Court’s direction, states will have to offer 15% of the total seats (for undergraduates) through the Centre. The vacant seats will have to be filled against the candidates who have qualified for the all India medical tests,” ADN Rao, the counsel for a candidate, who was denied the seat despite qualifying for the all India medical examination, said.
The court also directed the heads of various medical colleges across the country to intimate the director general of health services (DGHS) about the existing vacancies and help them filled by September 27, counsel Rao said.
However, the Union health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said that offering seats (by the states) for Centre’s quota is ‘voluntary’.
According to the official, total number of seats under Centres’ 15% quota were supposed to be 2,205 (1,972 for MBBS and 233 for BDS) for the academic year 2009. Due to delay on part of the states, there were 339 unalloted seats for MBBS courses, while 168 BDS seats were not allotted after the first round of counselling.
“The directive would not only help fill vacant seats with deserving candidates but also sends a mandate to medical colleges that refuse to adhere to MCI guidelines of offering 15% seats to the Centre,” the official added.