450 PG Medical Seats still Vacant: Supreme Court asks DGHS to Respond
New Delhi: The Supreme Court has asked the Centre to make its stand clear on whether it can extend the date for counselling for PG Medical admissions for around 450 seats in deemed universities and private medical colleges which are yet to be filled.
During the hearing, the Centre informed the top court that it could not find any amicable solution to the problem as directed by it. On this, the bench of honourable Justices Deepak Gupta and Surya Kant asked Additional Solicitor General Banerjee, appearing for Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) of the Centre, to make its stand clear by way of affidavit.
A week ago, the top court had asked the Centre to try to find out an amicable solution to the problem and said, "If need be counselling may have to be extended by a short period of a week or so."
The bench was hearing a plea filed by the Education Promotion Society of India, a registered group of over 1,300 educational institutions of the country which sought to extend of counselling to facilitate admission to over 500 seats for a reasonable period, especially for meritorious students.
The medical universities/colleges had already made representations to the DGHS to grant permission for one additional round of counseling, but to no avail, and thus, moved the top court.
The plea filed by the society said, "The medical colleges/deemed universities are neither praying for enhancement or increase in number of seats nor for lowering of any parameters in order to accommodate additional students".
"The only prayer is for extension of time for stray vacancy round so that the meritorious students who are already NEET qualified and are already available in the waitlist provided by the DGHS, are given another opportunity to join a PG course," it said.
The petitioner society stated that the situation can be rectified, if one last chance for counselling for stray vacancy round was granted as was done in the case of Maharashtra after the top court scrapped the ten per cent economically weaker sections quota.
The petition further said there will be benefits of extension of stray vacancy round to medical colleges in order to fill vacant seats for the current academic year. It sought directions to extend the deadline, till June 17, for stray vacancy round for meritorious students who have already qualified the NEET and have their names included in the DGHS waiting list.
"This would be beneficial to the concerned colleges but also to the students who are looking to join a medical institute to pursue PG courses," it said.
The last date of counselling for PG medical courses was on May 31. The society said that they were given five days, May 27 to 31, to complete the PG admissions in stray vacancy round, which was actually insufficient.
The petition brought to the notice of the court that hundreds of seats go vacant every year in PG medical courses due to certain technical or other reasons, despite the best efforts of the medical colleges. As a consequence, many students, despite passing the NEET, fail to get admissions in PG medical courses.
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Senior advocate Maninder Singh, appearing for the petitioner society, said that medical seats in deemed universities and colleges were remaining vacant due to certain technical and other issues and they incur a loss to the educational institutions, which has to make huge investments to create quality infrastructure. It was pointed out that a wasted seat affects both the students as well as the educational institutions.
The Counsel for the petitioner argued that the extension of stray vacancy round to medical colleges in order to fill vacant seats should be introduced for the current academic year, as it would be beneficial for both the colleges concerned and also to the students who are looking to pursue PG courses.
However, the counsel for the DGHS vehemently opposed this and instead contended that it is not possible to arrive at an amicable solution in the matter.
The court has listed the matter for further hearing to June 21st.