SC tells state to rethink on 10-yr study criteria for PG med admissions

SC tells state to rethink on 10-yr study criteria for PG med admissions

The Supreme Court on Thursday told the Karnataka government to "modulate" between institutional preference and residential requirement for candidates in admission to NEET PG-2018 seats in its medical colleges.

A bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Navin Sinha made an oral suggestion to senior advocate Basava Prabhu Patil, representing the state government, to reconsider the 10-year residence or study criteria for candidates to be eligible to post-graduate (PG) courses. The counsel, on his part, assured the court that he would hold discussions with the chief secretary in the matter.

The top court was hearing a writ petition filed by advocate Amit Kumar on behalf of Dr Kriti Lakhina and 39 others, challenging the 10-year study criteria prescribed in the information bulletin of the Karnataka Examination Authority on March 10 for admission to PG courses.

The petitioners, who are residents of other states but completed their MBBS and BDS courses from the Karnataka colleges, termed the eligibility criterion as "illegal, arbitrary, discriminatory, unconstitutional and thus void, being in clear violation of Articles 14, 15, 19(1)(g) and 21 of the Constitution".

On Thursday, the bench told Patil, "the MCI is opposing it on substantial ground. You have to modulate between institutional preference and residential requirement." The court put the matter for further consideration on March 27.

Advocate Gaurav Sharma, appearing for the regulatory body, MCI, had earlier said, according to rules, such kind of eligibility cannot be introduced in PG degree courses as seats are very limited.

The petitioners claimed the notification was also contrary to Regulation 9 of the Postgraduate Medical Education Regulations, 2000, framed by MCI under Section 33 of Indian Medical Council Act, 1956, which stated that admission to PG courses shall be strictly on the basis of merit.