SC orders extended second counselling for medical students

2 Sep 2008: The Times of India
 
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has decided to give a fresh chance to meritorious students, who had qualified the tough medical entrance examination but did not get admission to colleges. This was after the apex court discovered that many medical and dental colleges had not reported a substantial number of seats for the 15% all-India quota.

There was virtually no hope for these students as the second counselling for the all-India quota seats in medical and dental colleges was over and there was no provision for a third counselling.

But a petition filed by a number of aspiring doctors through counsel A D N Rao stated that colleges across the country have not contributed as many as 700-odd seats this year to the all-India quota depriving many students figuring in the common entrance merit list to get their desired course and institution.

Appearing for the Centre, Additional Solicitor General Gopal Subramaniam agreed with the petitioner as the facts bore out the allegations of the petitioners — 70 out of 117 medical colleges and 22 out of 27 dental colleges have not furnished information about vacant seats.

Ordering an extended second counselling on September 13 and 14 for the all-India quota seats, a bench comprising Justices B N Agrawal, H S Bedi and G S Singhvi said: “We do not find any justification as to why other medical and dental colleges have not furnished the required information which they were obliged to furnish.¶

It directed the Director-General of Health Services (DGHS), which conducts the counselling, to find out the number of vacant seats from each college latest by September 5 for this academic year. “By 12th September 2008, the DGHS will see that the entire information received is compiled and thereafter, extended second counselling is done on 13th and 14th September, 2008, at Delhi,¶ the bench ordered.

This is the first time that the malpractice of hiding the vacancy position was brought up before the apex court. And this is also the first time that counselling is taking place for a substantial number of seats even after the formal completion of the second counselling for the all-India quota.

The writ petitioners had stated that the non-reporting of seats has “led to an enormous situation wherein nearly 750 to 800 seats, which should have been part of the 15% all-India Pre-Medical/Pre-Dental quota, have not been made part of the same thereby resulting in depriving petitioners and similarly placed students from opting for the said courses/institutions¶. 

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