Mumbai: An interim stay has been granted by the Bombay High Court on a state government resolution (GR), that makes it compulsory for deemed universities to follow a centralized admission process for MBBS and BDS courses based on the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) scores.
Issued on August 20 this year, the GR had made it mandatory for all deemed medical universities and dental colleges to admit students on the basis of the State organised “Combined Counselling/Centralised Admission Process”. The GR itself was based on a letter written by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare dated August 9, 2016.
The deemed universities approached the Bombay HC opposing the said GR.
The interim stay now facilitates universities to conduct their own counselling sessions for students who appear in the NEET merit list, and accord them seats..
A bench of Justice Shantanu Kemkar and Justice MS Karnik, however, gave directions to the Deemed Universities to make sure that their counselling sessions were attended only by students figuring in the NEET merit list.
Senior counsel, Anil Anturkar, who appeared for the petitioners, in this case- Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences, DY Patil College, Pune and Pravara Institute of Medical Sciences, presented an argument stating that the state government is infringing upon their rights.
The Senior Counsel submitted that deemed universities were allowed to admit students via the University Grants Commission (the Institutions Deemed to be Universities) Regulation of 2016. Furthermore, vide a notification issued by the Medical Council of India in August this year, deemed universities were to authorized to admit students, as per a specified time schedule.
In essence, he contended that deemed universities had the power to admit students in individual capacity. He informed the court that individual counselling sessions has already been initiated in several institutes.
Acting Advocate General, Rohit Deo, countered Anil Anturkar saying that not only was the State government empowered to pass the GR, but that a centralised admissions process would benefit students, since they would not have to fill in multiple admission forms.
The Bombay High Court, relying on the Kerala High Court decision put forward the following decision:
“In our prima facie view, the state government cannot transgress the powers of deemed universities by issuing a government resolution……..However, it is made clear that …. the Petitioners shall admit the students strictly on the basis of ranking of the candidates in the list of NEET on the basis of inter se merit amongst the students who have applied to the Petitioner’s institution.”
It is added that four days prior to this Bombay High Court hearing, the Kerala High Court had in a similar matter, held that deemed universities had the right to conduct their own admissions.