New Delhi: Karnataka state’s domicile rule for PG medical admissions has become the talking point once again.
The Supreme Court has recently directed Karnataka government to file its response on the petition challenging the validity of the state’s domicile rules mandating 10 years of academic study in the state for a candidate to qualify for admission to 50 % institutional seats in PG courses in private medical colleges.
Last year in April, the apex Court had invalidated the domicile criteria for PG medical/dental admissions in the state. At that time, a total of 44 doctors, who had done their MBBS/BDS courses from Karnataka also cleared NEET PG 2018 examination with high merit position and were aspiring for admission to PG courses in the state have moved the apex court terming the domicile conditions as ultra vires and sought direction for quashing the clause.
The main contended clause was in respect of a candidate’s eligibility to acquire admission under 50 per cent of Institutional seats in private colleges. The clause states:
A candidate must have studied and passed MBBS/BDS in recognized Medical/Dental institutions located in India and has studied for a minimum period of ten academic years commencing from 1st standard to 12th standard and must have appeared and passed either SSLC or 10th standard or 2nd PUC or 12th standard equivalent examination from the Karnataka State are eligible.” In case of the candidate who has taken more than one year to pass a class or standard, the years of academic study is counted as one year only.
It was contended that Clause 4.1, which specifies the domicile criteria; “arbitrarily” and “illegally” deprived the petitioners who had obtained MBBS/BDS degrees from the colleges situated in Karnataka from competing for admission to post-graduate medical/dental courses in government medical colleges and against government quota seats in non-governmental institutions.
The Karnataka government, on the other hand, contended that the state was within its right to formulate eligibility conditions to give preference to candidates who were most likely to serve the state.
This domicile criterion; being held invalid by SC last year; was again published in the information bulletin for this year PGET 2019 by the Karnataka Examinations Authority (KEA).
In response, a group of doctors who have qualified the NEET PG, after completing their MBBS and BDS courses from Karnataka’s medical colleges approached the SC against the same. They said they got admission to UG courses on the basis of 15% All India seats.
The petitioners’ counsel contended that the eligibility criteria published on March 16 by the Karnataka Examination Authority in a way imposed domicile condition. This was contrary to the apex court’s orders, which had set aside identical conditions in 2014-15 and 2018-19 for being violative of the right to equality.
In their petition, they stated, “While there is no embargo across all seats as was the case in the academic year 2018-19, the state of Karnataka in the garb of institutional preferences, has stipulated that for 50% of institutional seats in private medical colleges, the domicile requirement is mandatory.”
After hearing the petition, the bench of honourable Justices Arun Mishra, Mohan M Shantanagoudar and Navin Sinha directed the Karnataka government to file its response to the petition, reports Deccan Herald. The bench stated,
“In the meantime, reply affidavit, if any, may be filed.”
The court put the petition for consideration on April 8, adds the daily.
Medical Dialogues had earlier reported that the Karnataka government has decided to reserve 50 % seats in PG medical courses for students from Karnataka under the Open Category at state’s private medical colleges from the academic year 2019-20.
At present, 42% of seats are of private medical colleges, termed as Open category and now of that 42 %, 50% seats will be reserved for students from Karnataka. According to the seat matrix of Karnataka PG medical admission process, 33% goes to the government, 42% for private colleges and 15% NRI and 10% institutional and in-service quota.