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The latest news about the deemed universities to conduct a mandatory centralized counselling, the Bombay High Court has finally given its answer. The Bombay HC has finally put an interim stay on the state government resolution that made it compulsory for a centralized counselling process. It said that these deemed universities can follow their own admission procedure, and do not need to adhere to any centralized one.
The HC on August 30,2016, allowed the deemed universities to admit students to its MBBS and BDS courses through their National Eligibility Entrance Test, NEET Scores, following their own counselling sessions. Candidates who get placed on the NEET Merit List can apply for admissions in these deemed universities. They will be allotted the seats in accordance to the rank they secure.
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In addition to the whole development, a bench of Justice Justice Shantanu Kemkar and Justice MS Karnik, directed the deemed universities to ensure that the counselling sessions were granted only to those students figuring on the NEET Merit List. Their judgement read, “The government resolution dated August 21 deserves to be stayed. Petitioners shall admit the students strictly on the basis of ranking of the candidates in the list of NEET from the students who have applied to their institution”. However, the final hearing of the matter will be taken up next month.
The whole matter came to light when three deemed universities filed a plea on August 21,2016. They plea mentioned how the GR made it compulsory to admit students to their MBBS/BDS courses, only on the basis of the common entrance test and a centralized counselling session under NEET. The court observed, “Prima facie we are of the view that the state government cannot transgress the powers of the deemed universities by issuing government resolution. When the field of holding the counselling and right to admit the students is occupied by the central legislation, the resolution cannot override the said statutory provision”.
Candidates are placed in the merit list on the basis of their performance in the common entrance exam. Those who get selected, appear for the counselling rounds under which they are allotted a seat.
These deemed universities have agreed to the conduct of a common entrance test. However, they still seek the HC’s help to give them the right to conduct their own counselling sessions. The universities had argued that they were governed by statutory rules of the Medical Council of India and the University Grants Commission and that the state government could not claim overriding powers over the same.
In a statement by a senior trustee of a deemed university in Pune, he said, “We will conduct admissions only on the basis of NEET scores, but by following state rules we are being forced to give up on our deemed status, which we refuse to compromise on. Deemed institutes across the country are conducting separate admissions”. He added that if they are forced to once again follow state rules, they will fight tooth and nail in court.
The state has put its point that its GR did not infringe upon the rights of these deemed universities. Infact, this new move was in the benefit of students only. Acting Advocate General Rohit Deo, had further argued that the state had enough legislative powers to pass such a resolution.
This year, over 20,000 students have registered for the centralized admission process of NEET, to secure 1,675 seats for admissions in the deemed universities of Maharashtra.
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In a recent development of the whole issue, the aspirants seem to seek help from the court again. Their parents are too planning to file a petition in the Supreme Court against the order. The parents believe that the SC needs to be aware of the problems their children are facing in respect to the new policy and rules. Mrs. Ruiee Kapoor, one of the parents said, “While the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) was introduced to bring about uniformity in medical admissions, our children are running pillar to post for admissions”.
She also said that the petition shall be filled by September 1, 2016. “The SC should know that what the state government is terming as teething problems are actually ruining lives of our children,” she added.
In an ordinance that was passed by the President on May 24, 2016, it stated the states to conduct admissions in the government institutions on the basis of the Common Entrance Test (CET). In contrast, the private and deemed universities were supposed to follow the merit list based on a candidate’s NEET score only. It was following a writ petition this week filled by the deemed universities, that the Bombay HC put a stay on this whole issue.
Many parents also show their concerns about the top-scorers who have already secured a seat in the government institutes in the state. These students might opt for a seat in private institutes closer home, taking away the chances of students who are yet to allotted seats.
Another parent told, “We will fight till our last breath and make sure not just our children, but future batches don’t suffer either”.
As far as the Authorities at the Directorate of Medical Education & Research (DMER) are concerned, we might see them fighting for the common medical admissions in 2017.
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