SC al­lows mop-up coun­selling

To fill med­i­cal su­per-spe­cial­ity seats

The Hindu - - NATION - Kr­ish­nadas Ra­jagopal

The Supreme Court has re­vised its ear­lier or­der re­fus­ing to ex­tend the dead­line for fill­ing va­cant seats in med­i­cal su­per-spe­cial­ity cour­ses.

In a sep­a­rate or­der on Wed­nes­day, a Bench of Jus­tices A.K. Goel and U.U. Lalit di­rected the Di­rec­tor Gen­eral of Health Ser­vices (DGHS) to hold mop-up coun­selling to fill 553 va­cant med­i­cal su­per-spe­cial­ity seats within the next 10 days.

The court said the DGHS should de­cide the date of coun­selling and the sched­uled time, giv­ing ad­e­quate time for the can­di­dates to at­tend. The in­for­ma­tion should be duly pub­li­cised for five days con­tin­u­ously in na­tional news­pa­pers and also put up on the DGHS and Med­i­cal Coun­cil of In­dia (MCI) web­sites at the ear­li­est. The join­ing pe­riod post the coun­selling should not ex­ceed four days.

The ex­ten­sion of the dead­line is only ap­pli­ca­ble for the present aca­demic year, the court clar­i­fied.

Ear­lier de­ci­sion

Ear­lier, an­other Bench led by Chief Jus­tice of In­dia Di­pak Misra had re­fused to ex­tend the Septem­ber 14 time limit, es­pe­cially in the case of su­per-spe­cial­ity cour­ses.

In a four-page or­der on Septem­ber 22, that Bench re­ferred to the ap­pre­hen­sions raised in the var­i­ous pleas that many seats re­mained va­cant and there was a need to ex­tend the date for ad­mis­sions.

But the court dis­missed these pleas, say­ing the con­cern voiced in them “trav­els from ra­tio­nal sphere to emo­tional sphere.” It ac­knowl­edged the MCI’s stand that dis­ci­pline was es­sen­tial in aca­demic ad­mis­sion mat­ters and any ex­ten­sion would re­sult in chaos. In­el­i­gi­ble stu­dents would ben­e­fit from such con­fu­sion, leav­ing the wor­thy ones in dire straits.

‘Sus­te­nance of or­der’

“We are of the con­vinced opin­ion that an ex­ten­sion at this junc­ture would not be ap­pro­pri­ate. A sense of con­cern is one thing, but sus­te­nance of dis­ci­pline and or­der is an­other as­pect. Weigh­ing both the con­cepts in a bal­anced man­ner, we un­hesi­tat­ingly come to the con­clu­sion that the prayers made in the in­ter­locu­tory ap­pli­ca­tions do not de­serve any ac­cep­tance and, ac­cord­ingly, they stand re­jected.”

The court’s re­fusal came de­spite the Cen­tre favour­ing an ex­ten­sion.

Among the ap­pli­ca­tions was one by 23 doc­tors from var­i­ous parts of the coun­try seek­ing an ex­tended round of coun­selling for the can­di­dates who had qual­i­fied in the NEET-SS ex­am­i­na­tion to fill va­cant seats avail­able in gov­ern­ment and pri­vate med­i­cal col­leges. NEET-SS is an el­i­gi­bil­ity-cum-rank­ing ex­am­i­na­tion pre­scribed as the sin­gle en­trance ex­am­i­na­tion to var­i­ous DM/M.Ch. cour­ses un­der the In­dian Med­i­cal Coun­cil (Amend­ment) Act, 2016.

The pe­ti­tion­ers, led by Chen­nai doc­tor T.T. Senthilnathan, con­tended that over 25% of seats in su­per-spe­cial­ity DM/M.Ch cour­ses re­main un­filled even af­ter two rounds of coun­selling.

The ex­ten­sion of dead­line is only ap­pli­ca­ble for the present aca­demic year, the Supreme Court said.

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