Court questions Kerala plan to ease medical college admissions

October 1st, 2008 - 9:53 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Oct 1 (IANS) The Supreme Court Wednesday frowned upon the Kerala government’s plan to admit the Scheduled Tribes students to the state medical colleges on the basis of only the senior secondary school examination marks, not requiring to clear the competitive entrance examination.On the state government’s decisiobn to relax norms for Dalit students’ admissions to medical colleges, Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan said: “I cannot permit a class within a (reserved category) class.”

The chief justice’s bench, which also included Justice Ashok Bhan and Justice P. Sathasivam, however, said it may consider passing an order on the Kerala government’s statutory order if the Medical Council of India approves of it and let Dalit students secure admission in medical and dental colleges without having to clear the competitive examination.

The bench issued directions to the Medical Council of India to respond to the state government proposal by Oct 14, the next date of hearing of a lawsuit by two Dalit students from Kerala seeking relaxation of admission norms to medical colleges.

The state government has been supporting the demand by the Dalit students.

Kerala faces the unique problem of its Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes students’ inability to score the minimum 40 percent marks prescribed for them by the Medical Council of India (MCI) in enrance tests for admission to the medical colleges.

Faced with the problem, the Kerala government Sep 27 passed an order providing for scheduled tribe students’ admission to the state medical and dental colleges on the basis of senior secondary school examination marks, without having them clear the competitive examination.

The state government issued the order a day after the apex court Sep 26 asked it to devise some ways and means to help scheduled students secure admission to medical and dental colleges in the state.

The bench said: “It is high time that the state should take up steps for giving some proper orientation course to SC/ST students or to set up some other formulae so that sufficient number of candidates should be admitted in the medical and dental course.”

The bench had also asked the MCI and the union government to suggest appropriate solution to the problem of the Kerala’s Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes students inability to compete for the medical entrance tests.

Out of 51 seats reserved for candidates of the Scheduled Casts and Tribes in the state medical colleges, only two could be filled up this year as only two students were able to secure marks above 40 percent.

The state government earlier told the court that for the last 3 to 4 years, the seats earmarked for Dalit students in the state’s medical colleges were not getting filled owing to the SC/ST students general inability to secure marks above 40 percent.

The MCI has fixed a minimum of 50 percent marks for the general category students and 40 percent for those belonging to Scheduled Castes and Tribes in competitive examinations for admission to the government medical colleges.

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