THE STATE government is preparing to take over the counselling and admission process for private and deemed medical and dental institutes, a step it has been considering for almost two years. A notice on this will be issued soon by the Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER) after the Medical Council of India (MCI) on March 11 instructed state governments to conduct admission to all medical and dental colleges. The MCI order has strengthened the state’s claim over the admission process before a hearing in the High Court over the matter scheduled on Tuesday. “We will go ahead with the MCI’s order and issue a notification. Our case has become stronger,” said Pravin Shingare, director, DMER.
While the High Court sided with the private and deemed college management, the DMER won the case in the Supreme Court in September 2016. By then, admissions to most seats had been conducted, and while the apex court did not term those invalid, it said that around 350 seats that are still vacant would be filled by the state. For the academic year 2017-18, it said the decision for deemed and private medical colleges would be taken by the Bombay High Court. The case will be heard on Tuesday. “We are confident that the High Court will side with us this time,” said Shingare.
The colleges are yet to decide on whether to challenge the MCI order. “We are awaiting the High Court verdict and haven’t decided on the further course of action,” said Kamal Kishor Kadam, president of the Unaided Medical College Association. “After the hearing on Tuesday, we will go through the MCI order and decide whether to challenge it,” he added.
As the state prepares a stronger case, medical aspirants and their parents are relieved that the admission process will be conducted through a single-window system. “Earlier, applicants had to go to individual colleges for counselling and confirming their admissions. They had to pay admission fee separately. Now, this will be streamlined and there will be more transparency,” said Mahendra Choudhury, whose son will take NEET, 2017.
Choudhury said while the common admission process was a benefit to aspirants, it was not enough. “The state must now work towards regulating the fee in private and deemed medical colleges,” he said.