A Gauhati High Court ruling wanting Dispur to abide by the 2015 admission rules is likely to result in approximately 35 successful candidates losing their MBBS/BDS seats in Assam for the 2017 session starting September.
“The honorable court has said we should follow the 2015 admission rules instead of the 2017 rules, a ruling which could see tentatively 30 to 35 students lose their seats. The 2017 rules will become operational from next year. As such we will have to go for another round of counselling from Monday and complete the admission process by August 31. Classes will start from September 1,” said Anup Kumar Barman, Director, Medical Education, Assam to The Telegraph.
The ruling was delivered by Justice Hrishikesh Roy yesterday.
The revert to the 2015 rules will affect those already admitted/seeking admission under reserved categories, besides those who have not studied in the state, from Classes VII to XII.
There are 726 medical seats in Assam, of which 15 per cent is reserved under central quota, 13 seats under NEC quota, and 15 seats under the central pool. There are six medical colleges and one regional dental college.
According to Senior Additional Advocate General, Assam, Devajit Saikia, “The court has ruled that we abide by the 2015 admission rules for MBBS and BDS courses this year as it was in force during the CBSE notification of January 30, 2017, for NEET (National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test). The 2017 rules were notified only on July 11, 2017. As such the state will have to revisit the admission process.”
The National Eligibility Entrance Test(NEET), held in May, has completed two rounds of counselling; an exercise which helps successful candidates choose their colleges.
Devajit Saikia, meanwhile, added that apart from the ruling by Justice Roy yesterday, a division bench of Chief Justice Ajit Singh and Justice Manojit Bhuyan had on August 2 held Rule 3 (1) (3) of 2017, more or less similar to the 2015 rules, to be constitutionally valid.
“This means that those seeking admission to the state’s medical colleges are required to complete Classes VII to XII in the state. It has been made mandatory. The state government will implement both the court orders in toto,” he stated, revealing that a few affected students had moved the Supreme Court, which will take up the matter on Monday.
The twin rulings will see a fall in the number of seats – for OBC, Moran and Muttock committees, tea tribes and ex-tea tribes, which witnessed an increase in number, under the 2017 rules.
“For example, the OBC quota went up from 15 per cent to 26.4 per cent (from 88 to 159 seats) under the 2017 rules. Similarly, tea tribes’ quota was raised to 18 from eight while for Moran and Muttock communities it was raised from two seats each to three each. Now, seats for general category and OBC creamy layer candidates will go up under the 2015 rules,” Barman said. Creamy layer candidates, he added came from financially and educationally better placed families, in comparison to the OBC.
The 2015 rules will result in retention of 13 NEC quota seats and 15 central pool seats. “We had abolished the NEC seats and reduced the central pool quota to six under the 2017 rules,” Barman told the Telegraph.
NEC seats are for students from other states of the region.