PG admissions at St. Johns violate medical education regulations: HC

The Karnataka High Court on Thursday said the admission procedure adopted by St John’s National Academy of Health Sciences (St John’s Medical College) is contrary to regulation 9A of the Post Gradutate Medical Education Regulations, 2000. It also goes against the principle of merit, as the selection of students is not based solely on their NEET score/rank.

“The rule requires the college to follow the admission process mandated under regulation 9A.The regulation came into effect on March 11, 2017, and therefore is applicable to any PG course for 2017-18. If contrary, the admission is void,” a division bench comprising justices H G Ramesh and John Michael Cunha observed while declining to vacate the March 21 stay order vis-a-vis the admission process.

Noting there is still time left for the college to follow the procedure laid down under regulation 9A, the bench permitted St John’s to participate in the common counselling provided under 9A and to admit students for 2017-18 on allotment of seats by the Common Counseling Authority (CCA).

Students admitted by the college and the petitioner were also permitted to approach the said authority, provide they fulfil the eligibility criteria.

The bench said seat allotment through common counselling to unaided minority educational institutions has to be done in conformity with their rights guaranteed under section 30(1) of the Constitution. They (institutions) are entitled to indicate choice of preference like minority students for whom it is established, minority students from other states and non-minorities to CCA, in keeping with rights guaranteed under Article 30(1).

 The bench clarified the state government doesn’t have any right under regulation 9A to appropriate any seats available for admission in an unaided minority educational institution, and any contrary interpretation will make the regulation go against Article 30(1).
 On March 21, 2017, the court had passed an interim order, staying further admission process for PG medical courses at the college on a petition filed by Dr Rachana Kishore Ubrangala. The petitioner said though she had secured higher marks in NEET, her name was not there in the provisional list and less meritorious students were considered for admission.
 According to the petitioner, she had obtained NEET PG rank 1455 and NEET PG state rank 247. Despite this, the college authorities did not select her for the interview. Those with lower ranks were considered based on criteria like marks in practical test and interview in addition to NEET score.
Date: Apr 19, 2017
Source: TOI