NEET PG 2018: SC stays transfer of All India Quota seats to State Quota

NEET PG 2018: SC stays transfer of All India Quota seats to State Quota
Somesh S Menon | Apr 21, 2018 - 8:23 p.m. IST
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NEW DELHI, April 20: The Supreme Court of India has stayed the reversion of vacant 50% All India Quota seats to State Quota seats as was scheduled to happen after the conclusion of the NEET PG counselling second round. In addition, medical graduates allotted seats in the first round of counselling conducted by the Medical Counselling Committee (MCC) will be allowed to retain their seats until further orders are passed by the Supreme Court.

In the hearing which took place on April 20, 2018, on Writ Petition (Civil) No. 357/2018, a two member Bench of Justices SA Bobde and L Nageswara Rao stated, “...there shall be stay of reversion of the seats by the Central Government to the State Government/s until further orders”. The matter will now be heard further on April 27, four days after the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test for Post Graduates (NEET PG) Counselling round two process was scheduled to end on April 23, 2018.

Relief for Medical Aspirants

The Supreme Court interim order will be greeted with relief by candidates pinning their chances on securing admissions through All India Quota of NEET PG, especially those candidates having very limited options at State Quota level due to lack of colleges or desired specializations. The petitioners believe that the All India Quota seats should only be filled by medical graduates across India who have qualified for admissions under the same. As per them, the transferring of vacant seats meant that an unfair situation was created wherein candidates with higher ranks often eventually ended up losing the chance to get admission to coveted seats to State Quota students.

The NEET PG 2018 counselling process has been wrapped in various controversies with the Madras High Court already staying the counselling process once and candidates complaining about lack of clarity in seat allotment which has prevented them from opting for admission to the seats of their choice.

Retention of Seats

Candidates allotted seats in the first round of counselling will be allowed to retain them as per theThe Supreme Court has directed the MCC to let the candidates hold their seats which were allotted to them in the first round of counselling. Pertaining to the resignation policy, the MCC had published a notice on April 5, 2018, asking the candidates who have applied for upgradation in the second round of counselling but were assigned the same seat to resign from the allotted seat of the first round of counselling. It would be otherwise considered that candidates refusing to resign wished to take admissions to the allotted college and the round two counselling procedure would be applicable to them.

The authorities wanted the candidates to submit resignation within two days of the announcement of the result of round two on April 12 ie. by April 14, 2018. Since, the second round of counselling was postponed and the result was eventually declared only on April 14, 2018, the resignation date was also shifted to April 16, 2018.

Then came the Madras High Court stay order as per which round two counselling was stopped altogether for a brief period of time, meaning that candidates were eventually allowed to resign from their allotted seats till April 19. Now, with Supreme Court order adjourned for April 27, the admission seekers can retain their seats until the final order is declared.

The SC’s current directives imply that the round two of NEET PG counselling is likely to be suspended. However, candidates can continue reporting to their allotted colleges till April 22 as per the current schedule. With counselling for All India Quota seats meant to be concluded within two rounds only as per the rules, it will now be interesting to see whether the Court scraps the transfer of vacant seats altogether and asks the MCC to hold multiple rounds to ensure they are all filled.

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