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Govt to contest medical order

Calcutta, Sept. 30: The state government has decided to challenge the high court decision to quash the NRI quota in medical colleges, but accepted fresh applications today ' the last day of admission ' to avoid contempt of court.

Calcutta High Court yesterday struck down the quota for students paying enhanced fees, cancelling the admission of 105 NRI-sponsored students in two medical colleges, and ordered that candidates on last year's joint entrance examination merit list be accommodated.

Health minister Surjya Kanta Mishra today said the government would move the Supreme Court against the high court directive.

Altogether, 182 candidates, including some on this year's JEE merit list, submitted their admission applications at the Central Selection Committee (Medical) office on the Medical College and Hospital campus. Though September 30 is the deadline set by the Medical Council of India for admission, none of the candidates were admitted today. The authorities merely received the admission forms.

'Receiving applications is the first step of admission and we did so to avoid contempt of court,' a senior health department official said.

'The high court has ordered last year's JEE qualifiers' admission, not the state government. Things will be decided after the Supreme Court directive,' said C.R. Maity, director of medical education.

'We are sitting on the fence and do not know which side we will fall on,' said Piu Pal of Barasat, who was ranked 961 in the JEE last year, after submitting her form.

Mridul Sarkar, convener of the Democratic Students' Organisation, the SUCI's students' wing, said as the government has received applications, it was bound to admit them.

'I have no idea whether I will be able to get admission. I read about the court's order and came for admission,' said Kaushambi Kar, who was placed 662 in the JEE. He is studying Physics in a college.

Equally confused are the NRI quota students. A group met advocate-general Balai Roy. 'We are extremely worried about our future, so we met him,' said one, requesting not to be named.

'We were planning to move the Supreme Court against the high court's decision. But since the state government is making the appeal, we are leaving it to them,' he added.

The 105 students, screened from 1,300 through an entrance test, had forked out Rs 9.24 lakh each for an MBBS seat under the NRI quota at SSKM hospital or the Midnapore Medical College and Hospital.

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