The Punjab government has decided to move a special leave petition (SLP) in Supreme Court against the recent High Court order asking the state to make a fresh merit list of post graduate admissions in the state’s medical colleges by giving 30 per cent incentive to rural medical officers (RMO) based on their National Eligibility and Entrance Test (NEET) score under the state quota seats.
The HC decision has come as a shock to many students as classes have already begun in different medical colleges across state. The first admission counseling was held between April 13 to April 15 at Baba Farid University of Health Sciences (BFUHS) in Faridkot.
While the HC order came after the counselling session, nearly 400 seats were already filled in government as well as private medical colleges in MD, MS and MDS courses.
Accordinng to Punjab’s rules, while 50 per cent of the total seats in government medical colleges were filled at the all-India level, the remaining 50 per cent were reserved for state domicile students and in-service Punjab Civil Medical Service (PCMS) government doctors, who were granted 30% incentive on their NEET score. PCMS doctors cannot get admission in private colleges.
However, on the lines of PCMS doctors, the rural medical officers ( RMOs) appointed in health centres run by zila parishads had moved HC demanding similar benefits on the lines of PCMS doctors. The court accepted the plea and as per the order, a new merit list must be prepared so as to include RMOs based on their NEET score. It needs to be mentioned that doctors need to score 50% marks in NEET to clear the exam and later, if they have a year’s experience in rural areas, 10 per cent weightage will be given in marks followed by 20 per cent after two years and 30 per cent after three years.
Following this order, students who have already deposited their fees fear that they might not get a seat if a new merit list is prepared.
“Based on the recent HC order, we will be filing an SLP in SC against it,” said Medical Education Secretary Vikas Partap.
“Rural medical officers working under zila parishads have been the worst affected in the past 10 years. They have been willfully denying rural service benefit for PG courses. Both SAD/BJP and Congress governments have ignored the apex court judgement and issued notifications opposite to it. Ignoring the HC order, the state government also continued with counselling sessions and admissions. the chief minister should conduct an inquiry. However, we will fight till end,” said Rural Medical Services Association president in Punjab, Dr Aslam Parvez.