Notice to states on dalits’ admission to medical colleges

September 26th, 2008 - 10:13 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 26 (IANS) The Supreme Court Friday issued notice to several state governments on an apprehension expressed by the government that dalit and tribal students might not be able to study for a medical degree if they did not secure the 40 percent marks required for admission.A bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan and Justice P. Sathasivam issued notice to Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Orissa and some other states after Additional Solicitor General Gopal Subramaniam expressed the apprehension.

The government’s views came during the hearing of a plea by five dalit students of Kerala seeking relaxation of the 40 percent cut-off in the competitive examinations for admission to various medical colleges in the state.

The Medical Council of India has fixed minimum 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 government medical colleges.

Responding to the lawsuit, the Kerala government had earlier told the apex court that out of 51 seats reserved for scheduled castes and tribes candidates in the state medical colleges, only two could be filled up this year as only two students were able to get marks above 40 percent.

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

At this, the apex court had asked the state government to discuss the mater with the central government and devise a suitable remedy in consultation with the Medical Council of India.

Asked for its views on the issue by the apex court, the University Grants Commission had earlier said it was not possible to relax the 40 percent cut-off for dalit students.

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