Indore: An order issued by the Directorate of Medical Education (DME) cancelling admission of some students to medical colleges in the state has been struck down by the Madhya Pradesh High Court on Tuesday.
The court order came after twenty six of the thirty seven students, along with some RTI activists, moved court challenging the Directorate’s order.
However, there is no clarity on whether all the thirty seven would be reinstated and if they will be admitted in private or government medical institutions.
According to sources, on October 7, the DMER filled four hundred and sixty eight seats in different medical colleges of the state, through offline counseling. It was later that the authorities discovered that 37 excess admissions had been done, with private college seats already filled to capacity and a seat had also been left vacant in a government college.
In order to make amends, the DME struck down admissions of thirty seven students, without taking into account their merit positions.
The RTI activists have smelt foul in the entire offline and online Admission process, keeping in mind that it took over 35 hours to fill 262 online seats, while only four hours went into filling up of 468 offline admissions. “It smells of corruption,” says RTI activist and former MLA Paras Saklecha, who has been standing up for the students, in this case.
Earlier, the court had instructed the Directorate to fill maximum seats through the online procedure; with preference given to domicile. The remaining seats that were to be filled offline – were to be done on the basis of merit alone.
However, the RTI activists allege that the court directive was not strictly adhered to, and that the maximum seats were filled offline and given away to the non domicile and less meritorious . This it is alleged was done, because private medical colleges in connivance with the DME officials sold seats at a cost ranging between Rs 50 and Rs. 60 lac. The allegation further gained grounds with the discovery of private institutions charging extra money in the name of caution and other miscellaneous fee. The Association of Fee Regulatory Committee had however, fixed the tuition fee.
To Justify less number of admissions having been granted online, in a period of 35 hours, the authorities put the onus on technical faults. Citing the example of Gandhi Medical College, the officials revealed that there were some problems in the BSNL cable connection that hit online admission for sometime.
“We had to call BSNL’s technician to fix the problem,” the official said on condition of anonymity.