fraudhandcuffsThe Punjab and Haryana high court has put a stay on the operation of the state government’s letter addressed to the MCI (Medical Council of India) on July 9th on seeking lowering of the eligibility percentage in case of NRI aspirants from 50% to 45% in the All India Pre- Medical Test (AIPMT- 2014). The HC has done so terming the Punjab government’s act as a ‘fraud’ with MBBS aspirants.

Taking up a petition filed by 6 general- category MBBS aspirants, court issued notices of motion to the Punjab government, MCI and the Faridkot based Baba Farid University of Health Sciences (BFUHS) for filing their replies before August 25. According to the Supreme Court directions, the medical admissions have to be completed before September 30. Justice K Kannan has also ordered that state government is at liberty to convert unfilled MBBS seats under the NRI (non- resident Indian) quota to the general category.

After the completion of 2nd counselling by BFUHS last month, only 3 eligible candidates were there, under the NRI quota who could score more than 50% marks in AIPMT- 2014 . The remaining seats (around 94) were left vacant. Also, some seats under SC/ ST/ OBC category were also left vacant.

Saurav Verma, petitioners’ counsel, in view of the prospectus notified by BFUHS on March 7th, has sought directions to convert all vacant seats of NRI, SC/ ST and OBC left after the 2nd centralised counselling into the general category specifically. The court was informed that no other exception was made with regard to the eligibility condition of 50% marks in AIPMT, in the prospectus, except for SC/ ST and OBC (40%), and for physically handicapped (45%).

The Influence of Private Colleges

There have been allegations from the petitioners that the state government and BFUHS are acting under the influence of private colleges who are fearing financial loss to the tune of crores of rupees as each NRI seat generates an approximate revenue of Rs.80 lakh. Hence, the petitioners are apprehending illegal action on the part of the state government and the MCI, as was submitted.

The court was informed that the petitioners were meritorious than the ineligible NRI aspirants and also the candidates belonging to the NRI and reserved category were well aware of the eligibility criteria and knowing everything. They sat in the AIPMT without any protest. So, their chance of getting admission in the final counselling should not be taken away illegally.

According to the Prospectus

The NRI seats shall only be offered to qualified and eligible candidates who clear the AIPMT- 2014 with more than 50% marks.
Clause 25 (vii) reads – “In case of any seat remaining vacant under the NRI quota, during or after 2nd centralised counselling of NRI quota in state colleges, shall go to the general category and in the unaided- private colleges or minority colleges shall go to general category of the management or minority quota. NRI left- over seats converted into government or management or minority quota will be filled by the counselling committee from among the eligible candidates.”

Plus, clause 28 (k) reads – “Seats remaining vacant under any of the reserved category shall be transferred to the general category or vice- versa.”

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