The Bombay High Court Wednesday directed the state government to prepare an additional merit list for MBBS and BDS courses in unaided private colleges based on all-India applications to be called online. The additional list will be as per the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) scores.
The state has already prepared a selection list based on state rules, which do not allow students from other states to apply for admission to these courses. One of the lists will be finalised and published after the court passes orders in a matter challenging the validity of the state rules. Mahatma Gandhi Vidyamandir’s KBH Dental College & Hospital and some students have challenged the rules which allow for regional reservations and reservations in favour of local students, questioning how such domicile rules could especially be applied to private unaided colleges.
Pointing out how the selection and admission processes had to be completed by September 30, according to Supreme Court orders, Chief Justice Manjula Chellur said, “We direct the authorities to prepare another selection list after calling online applications based on NEET for candidates. The list need not be announced pending disposal of the matter. The prepared list of candidates based on present rules is yet to be published. Both lists are kept ready till the outcome of the matter (before it is announced.)”
Admissions in Unaided Private Medical and Dental Colleges will be on the basis of performance in NEET and the fact that students should have also passed HSC from Maharashtra. The court asked the government to explain in clear terms what they meant by domicile. “For the purpose of admission, what is the criterion? Parents and students should not be in a dilemma about domicile. You should clearly lay down the guidelines and procedures,” said the Chief Justice.
Appearing for the state, senior advocate Shrihari Aney informed the court that the new rules have been brought into effect this year and the state had the authority to make reservations based on regional basis. He added that the domicile position could be included in the rules.
“Every year, parents and students are under stress even after studying well,” pointed out the court questioning the rationale behind such a rule.
“Every state has a right to bring about its policy. This year, students are in a dilemma on what is happening. It is a cumbersome situation with NEET being accepted this year,” added Chellur. The petitioners will start arguments from Thursday on rules imposing restrictions on students from outside the state.