The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Capitation plea in court
- Two weeks to clear policy on selection of candidates
• MBBS seats*: 1,105
• Undergraduate medical colleges: Nine
• Tuition fees for MBBS students clearing JEE: Rs 750 a month
• Fees for paying students**: About Rs 9 lakh for the
four-and-a-half year course
*Including SSKM and Midnapore
**Those who do not have to clear JEE to enter an MBBS course

Calcutta, Sept. 6: A candidate seeking admission to the MBBS course and willing to pay “enhanced fees” — a euphemism for capitation — has moved the high court demanding information on the government’s procedure for the selection of such candidates.

Admitting the petition, the court asked the government to file an affidavit stating its stand in two weeks.

Shirshasindu Dutta, an NRI-sponsored candidate, had responded to a government notification issued on July 23, 2003, seeking applications for admission to a medical college by paying “enhanced fees”.

“In the said notification, the government had announced that students from four categories would be taken to fill up 200 seats. It was mentioned that an equal number of candidates would be given admission from NRI, NRI-sponsored, foreigner and management quotas,” said Laksmi Pal, the lawyer for the petitioner.

Pal said his client was called for an interview on August 17, 2003. “But after the publication of the results, he (Dutta) could not find his name in the selection list.

“Dutta then approached the authorities concerned to know the break-up of the selected candidates in different quotas. But they declined to reveal the process of selection,” the lawyer said.

The petitioner demanded a court order asking the authorities to bring transparency in the selection of candidates under the new scheme.

This is the first academic year in which MBBS students who opted for the enhanced-fee scheme are paying about Rs 9 lakh for their course.

However, the government is yet to frame a policy on how many seats should be kept aside for those ready to pay the enhanced fees. A decision on the number of seats to be allotted in different quota categories is also pending.

“We will soon take a decision,” said director of medical education C.R. Maity.

This year, the government has taken in 105 students, who did not have to take the Joint Entrance Examinations, and will earn about Rs 9.5 crore from them.

A health department official said: “Last year, it was decided that candidates who opt for the enhanced fees will be admitted through a test to fill up 200 additional seats at SSKM and Midnapore Medical College. But the Medical Council of India granted permission for the new facilities this year.”

When 100 seats each were created at SSKM and Midnapore, it was decided that candidates short-listed for the enhanced-fee quota last year would be accommodated.

“We cannot comment on the petition in the court but we were bound to take the students short-listed last year because a section of doctors had moved the Supreme Court demanding that all of them be accommodated,” the official said.

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