Kochi: The Kerala High Court has received a writ challenging the Medical Council of India’s(MCI), decision to grant additional weightage in post-graduate medical admissions for MBBS doctors serving in government hospitals in rural areas.
Advocate P Chandrasekhar filed the petition of 44 MBBS doctors challenging the amendment brought to PG Medical Education Regulations, 2000 on April 5 this year.
Earlier, this additional weightage in marks was given only for in-service candidates serving in remote or difficult areas. The amendment has extended the benefit to those serving in rural areas too.
The classification of rural area, as per the amendment includes all institutions outside the jurisdictional area of municipalities and corporations, reports the TOI.
For each year of service, in-service candidates are given additional weightage of 10 percent of the marks obtained in National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), subject to a maximum of 30 percent.
The petitioners have alleged the definition of ‘rural area’ to be ‘irrational’ when compared to the real position prevailing in the state. The inclusion of ‘rural areas’ along with ‘remote and/or difficult areas’ has been described as ‘illegal, irrational, and procedurally improper’ in the petition filed by Dr Sarath Purushothaman P of Padiyoor near Irinjalakkuda and 43 others.
The petitioners have put forward the argument that the change implemented by the Council took place halfway through the selection process and is, therefore, detrimental to the legitimate expectation of participating students of getting selected in the second allotment or spot admission.
The petitioners are seeking a court declaration that the amendment is illegal as it was announced halfway through the selection process and as the definition of ‘rural area’ according to them was irrational and illegal.