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SC Agrees To Hear Rajasthan Private Colleges’ Plea For Relaxation Of Minimum Marks In Medical Admissions To Fill Vacancies

The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to hear a petition filed by the Federation of Private Medical and Dental Colleges of Rajasthan, alleging non-compliance of counselling and admission process for admissions to nearly 500 seats to various dental colleges in Rajasthan.

The Bench comprising Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice DY Chandrachud agreed to hear the petition on Friday. The petitioner organization was represented by Advocate Shivam Singh.

The petition points out that while Regulation 2(5) of the Dentist Act, 1948 allows the authorities to make suitable relaxations in the minimum marks requirement for admission to BDS courses, the authorities are “ignoring their statutorily provided duty” to modify these cut-off scores.

It submits that in a similar scenario, the State had, in 2016, reduced the minimum required NEET percentile to the extent of 15 percentile so as to fill the vacant BDS seats across the Dental colleges of Rajasthan. The Dental Council of India (DCI) had also recommended a reduction of minimum NEET percentile by 10 percentile. However, while the State withdrew its orders due to a dispute on its competency to issue such order, the DCI’s suggestion was rejected by the Centre.

The petition now contends that even though the Centre had rejected DCI’s suggestion on the ground that there was sufficient number of eligible students to fill the vacant seats for the BDS course, an RTI application revealed that around 7000 seats have been vacant in the course for the academic year 2016-17.

“…the arbitrary, perverse and irrational inaction of a statutorily conferred duty has gravely prejudiced the academic future and institutional survival of the stakeholders. It is respectfully submitted that if the Respondent Authorities continue with their prolonged inaction then the Petitioner Federation would have to suffer unmitigated hardships. This would also adversely impact the medical/ dental infrastructure of the State of Rajasthan, as well as the Union of India, which is suffering from a huge shortfall of skilled doctors/dentists and a loss of nearly 500 dentists in AY 2018-19, would be extremely harsh,” it then contends.

The petition also refers to an order passed by the Apex Court last week, coming down heavily on the State of Bihar for delaying the admissions to medical colleges. Rapping the State, the Apex Court had also extended the time for the admissions, while ensuring that the interest of stakeholders in the admission process is safeguarded.

Therefore, pointing out that the admission for the BDS Course concludes on 15 September, the petitioner demands the immediate intervention of the Apex Court.

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