TEN DAYS after the Medical Council of India (MCI) instructed state governments to conduct admissions to all medical and dental colleges, including private and deemed, colleges have decided to challenge the central regulating authority.
According to the March 11 notification from MCI, admissions to all medical and dental colleges will be based on the marks obtained by applicants in the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) and will be done through the state-held Common Admission Process (CAP). This means, that private and deemed colleges will lose their autonomy over the counseling process.
“We have decided to file a petition in the Supreme Court, challenging the MCI’s instruction. It violates the fundamental rights of private institutes to conduct their own admissions,” said Kamal Kishore Kadam, president, Association of Management of Unaided Private Medical and Dental colleges.
Meanwhile, the state government, which has decided to go ahead with the MCI order, has issued notifications to all private and deemed medical colleges. “Following the order from the Government of India, the Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER) has issued notifications to colleges,” said Rajagopal Devara, secretary for medical education.
“(Private and deemed) Colleges have been asked for feedback. We have made it very clear that we want to conduct our own counseling,” said Kadam.
The state government has been trying to gain control over admissions in private and deemed colleges for two years. In the academic year 2016-17, the DMER had issued a notice that it would conduct admissions to private and deemed institutes, which was challenged by the colleges in the High Court. While the court ruled in favour of the colleges, the Supreme Court in September 2016 ordered that DMER conduct all admissions.
By then, admissions to most seats had been conducted, and while the apex court did not term those invalid, it said that the around 350 seats still vacant would be filled by the state. For the academic year 2017-18, it said the decision for deemed and private medical colleges would be taken by the Bombay High Court. The high court is, however, yet to hear the matter.
“Private colleges can go to SC but since there is no stay order on last year’s SC order, the DMER will conduct the admissions this year,” said Devara.
The DMER has recommended that the state take a strong stand against the colleges that refuse to participate in the CAP. “We will prepare a list of the colleges who refuse to admit students through CAP. We will then seek advice from the law and judiciary department on what action we can take. It may so happen that the admissions done bypassing the CAP will be deemed invalid,” said DMER Director Pravin Shinghare.
“Unless the SC decides otherwise, we will go ahead with last year’s order,” he added.