PG seats: SC refuses to extend counselling deadline

PG seats: SC refuses to extend counselling deadline

The Supreme Court on Friday rejected a plea by deemed universities to grant them time beyond the deadline of May 31 to fill up 603 vacant seats in Post Graduate medical and dental courses.

The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a plea by deemed universities and private colleges to grant them time beyond the deadline of May 31 to fill up 603 vacant seats in Post Graduate medical and dental courses, saying the time schedule must be followed otherwise it would open a Pandora's box.

A bench of Justices Deepak Gupta and Surya Kant said merely because the seats are lying vacant, in our view, is not a ground to grant an extension of time and grant further opportunity to fill up those seats.

The court did not find any merit in the petition filed by the Education Promotion Society of India, a registered group of 1354 educational institutions, for extension of counselling date for stray vacancy round to fill those seats. The court said if after three round of counselling including a mop-up one, seats still remained vacant, it cannot be helped.

It noted, of 603 seats lying vacant, only 31 are in clinical subjects and the vast majority (572) that is almost 95% in non-clinical subjects. It also pointed out there was no material on record to show as to what is the situation with regard to the remaining 400-500 seats as the society claimed as many as 1000 seats were vacant.

“Every year large number of non-clinical seats remain vacant because many graduate doctors do
not want to do post-graduation in non-clinical subjects,” it said.

The bench stressed, “If we permit violation of schedule and grant extension, we shall be opening a Pandora’s box and the whole purpose of fixing a time schedule and laying down a regime which strictly adheres to time schedule will be defeated.”

The Union government had on Thursday opposed before the court the plea, saying it would set a bad precedent for future. It would also dilute the object of having cut-off dates for admission and would affect all states, the government said.

The government, in its response, said the last date for admission for PG medical and dental courses for the academic session 2019-20 was May 31 as per the schedule approved by the apex court in its order on January 18, 2016 in the Ashish Ranjan case.

There were a total of 4561 PG seats in the academic session 2019-20. After completion of the stray vacancy round by concerned deemed universities, as many as 31 clinical and 572 non-clinical seats were lying vacant over there, it said.

Among the institutions, the petitioner pointed out 11 % seats in Kaher's J N Medical College Belagavi and 28% in K S Hegde Medical Academy, Mangalore were available for filling up.

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