SC to consider plea for quota to in-service doctors

SC to consider plea for quota to in-service doctors in PG degree courses

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The Supreme Court has agreed to consider from January 28 a plea to allow states to grant the benefit of reservation of seats to in-service doctors in Post Graduate degree courses.

The writ petition filed by Tamil Nadu Medical Officers Association and others has been put for hearing before a bench of Justices Arun Mishra, Vineet Saran, Indira Banerjee, M R Shah, and S Ravindra Bhat.

The petitioners, including doctors from Kerala, Maharashtra, and Haryana, contended giving reservation benefits would encourage those working in government hospitals and in rural areas.

They challenged the validity of the Post Graduate Medical Education Regulations, 2000, framed by the Medical Council of India.

Notably, 50% seats in PG diploma courses are reserved for medical officers in the government service but the MCI regulations barred it in PG degree courses.

All the admission to PG degree courses are conducted through the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test and 50% seats are filled through all India quota and the remaining 50% from state quota.

The Centre, as well as the MCI, had earlier opposed it, saying granting reservations or a separate source of entry for in-service candidates would directly impinge on the authority of MCI to coordinate and determine standards of medical education.

The MCI regulation provided an incentive to in-service candidates at the rate of 10 % of the marks obtained, for each year of service in remote and/or difficult areas upto a maximum 30 % of the marks, in the NEET examination. 

On April 24, 2018, the top court had declined to pass any interim order in the matter.