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Home / India / SC chides centre, council over failure to fill PG medical seats

SC chides centre, council over failure to fill PG medical seats

It is your duty to see that they don’t remain vacant, the bench of Justices M.R. Shah and Aniruddha Bose told advocate Shyam Gopal
Representational image.
Representational image.
File photo

R. Balaji   |   New Delhi   |   Published 09.06.22, 03:15 AM

The Supreme Court on Wednesday pulled up the Centre and the Medical Counselling Committee for failing to fill 1,456 postgraduate medical seats under the all-India quota, saying they were “playing with the future of students” and that the country needed more doctors.

The Medical Counselling Committee (MCC) organises counselling for the all-India quota postgraduate seats (50 per cent of total seats) as well as the all-India quota undergraduate (15 per cent) and super-speciality (100 per cent) seats.

“We don’t want even a single seat to remain vacant…. It is your duty to see that they don’t remain vacant. You are just playing with the future of students,” the bench of Justices M.R. Shah and Aniruddha Bose told advocate Shyam Gopal, appearing for the Centre and the MCC.

Justice Shah asked the counsel: “Do you know the stress level of students and parents? What will you get by keeping seats vacant when we need more doctors and super-specialists?

The court made the oral observations while dealing with a batch of writ petitions filed by Atharv Tungatkar, Astha Goel and other undergraduate doctors complaining about the MCC’s failure to fill the vacant seats.

Justice Shah warned that if the Centre and the MCC failed to come up with a satisfactory solution, the court might award compensation to the aggrieved doctors.

Later in the day, responding to a question from this newspaper, Federation of All India Medical Associations president Rohan Krishnan cited two reasons for the vacancies.

One, the National Medical Commission — the medical education regulator — approved some extra seats this year, mainly in private colleges, too late for them to be included in the January-May counselling.

Two, many PG seats in non-clinical courses such as anatomy, physiology and biochemistry have been remaining vacant even in top colleges for the past two or three years because most of the successful NEET-PG candidates tend to choose only clinical courses.

The apex court on Wednesday questioned the practice of adding seats during the middle of the counselling session. “There must be a cut-off date; otherwise it will give scope for corruption,” the bench said.

 

The bench noted that it had on Monday asked the petitioners to serve a copy on the Union government and the MCC seeking their presence on Wednesday. Despite the directive, no senior law officer was present in court on Wednesday.

“This is a very important matter relating to medical admissions, but no responsible officer is present,” the bench said.

When Gopal said that additional solicitor-general Balbir Singh, who was supposed to appear in the matter, could not do so because of some personal difficulties, the bench remarked: “The Union government is not run by a single officer. Tell him to remain present tomorrow.”

The bench later passed an order asking the government and the MCC to file their affidavit “during the course of the day” (Wednesday) and also send it via email to the judges with a copy to the petitioners. The next hearing is on Thursday.

(Additional reporting by G.S. Mudur)



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