The Madras High Court recently ordered that the issue of reservation and incentive marks for in service govt. doctors in PG medical admissions and the Medical Council of India's (MCI) latest regulations needs a comprehensive reading due to the complex nature of 50 percent state quota seats in post-graduate medical admission.
A division bench of Justice RMT Teekaa Raman and Justice Huluvadi G Ramesh made observations on a batch of appeals that were filed against a single judge order related to the award of incentive marks for govt. doctors serving in remote areas.
The single judgement held on 17 April ordered that state government must follow MCI's PG Medical Education Regulations, 2000 and not the basic prospectus which is issued by the state government to award the incentive marks for in-service candidates. If these orders were implemented, it would affect the in-service candidate's rights in availing additional incentive marks provided by the state govt. for serving in hilly, rural or remote areas.
However, when the request came up for hearing before the Division Bench, the judges said that a comprehensive reading and appraisal of the centre as well as of the state and also of their respective regulation is needed to be related to the autonomy given to the state govt. in the seats allocated through 50% state quota.
This court said that a comprehensive hearing needs to be given with regard to the 25 percent allocated seats towards general merit candidates and 25 percent allocated to the in-service candidates based on the areas as notified in the prospectus that was issued.
Noting that disposing of the matter involving complex issues at the stage of admission would not be proper, it advised the counsels on both sides to complete their pleadings and asked to move the vacation bench for early hearing of the matter since the last date for PG course admissions is approaching fast. The alternative option was to approach the chief justice to constitute a special bench for hearing the issue during summer vacation, which is starting from May 1.
As per the existing guidelines, govt. doctors working in hilly of rural areas or in remote localities shall be awarded one and two marks for every year of service respectively. However, MCI has said candidates serving these areas must be granted ten percent of their National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET) scores each year of service, which sums to a maximum of 30%.