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SC to examine if state can fix higher qualification for admission to MBBS course

The court issued notice to the Union government as well as the National Medical Commission on a petition filed by the Assam government
shish Tripathi
Last Updated : 20 August 2021, 12:14 IST
Last Updated : 20 August 2021, 12:14 IST
Last Updated : 20 August 2021, 12:14 IST
Last Updated : 20 August 2021, 12:14 IST

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The Supreme Court has decided to examine if a state government can stipulate a higher qualification for the candidates than the one prescribed by the Medical Council of India for admission to MBBS course.

A bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and M R Shah admitted for consideration a plea by the State of Assam which fixed minimum 60% marks in Physics, Chemistry and Biology for the candidates at the qualifying class XII examinations to appear in the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test, conducted at all India level for admission to MBBS course.

The court issued notice to the Union government as well as the National Medical Commission on a petition filed by the state government.

The bench asked senior advocate Maninder Singh, appearing for the state government, if they can deny admission to a candidate because he has not secured more marks in the qualifying examination than what was prescribed by the NEET. The court pointed out a student across the country can appear in the NEET if he got an aggregate of 50 % marks.

The court also noted another criterion fixed by the state government which stated that the candidate should have cleared the qualifying examination, i.e, class XII in one attempt.

The counsel for state, for his part, submitted the judgement of the Constitution Bench in Modern Medical College and Research Centre vs State of Madhya Pradesh (2016) and other judgements thereafter, would indicate that it is open to the State to provide a higher qualification.

He further maintained that the amendment in the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 by the insertion of Section 10D and Regulation 33(mb) --- prescribing uniform criteria and empowering MCI to fix qualifications--- would not preclude the State from laying down a higher and additional qualification.

He also pointed out the advertisement, issued for the NEET as well as the information bulletin, also indicated that it is open to the State to provide its own condition of eligibility and merit.

The court, however, the issue needs to be resolved.

The state government filed a special leave petition against a decision of the Gauhati High Court passed on August 16, 2019 striking down Rule 4(2)(c) of the Medical Colleges and Dental Colleges of Assam (Regulation of Admission into 1st Year MBBS Course) Rules, 2017, prescribing higher and additional qualifications than the ones fixed by the Centre and the MCI.

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Published 20 August 2021, 12:00 IST

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