Fifty percent in-service reservation for PG Medical, Super-Specialty Courses In TN: Matter reaches Supreme Court
Chennai: Acting on a petition filed by a group of doctors seeking to stay the order issued by the Tamil Nadu Government, allowing 50 percent reservation to government doctors and in-service candidates in PostGraduate medical (PG medical) and super-specialty courses, the Supreme Court has issued a notice to the State Government.
However, the court has not put a stay on the order issued by the State on November 7 that allocated 50 percent of postgraduate super-specialty seats in government medical colleges to in-service government doctors from the academic year 2020-2021.
As per the circular on DM/Mch, "the system will be changed as 50% of the seats were available for the open quota to which both services and non-service candidates were eligible for selection on the basis of merit. 50% of the seats in each of the specialties were allocated exclusively to service candidates. In the success of the policy framed by the state of Tamil Nadu which has been in place for several years, 50% of the state quota seats in each super specialty of the postgraduate courses are allocated to doctors in government service. On selection, the government service doctors are required to serve the government till superannuation while non-service doctors are required to serve the government for a period of no less than two years."
Hence, for the super specialty courses, all the seats for the state quota will be reserved for government doctors.
Meanwhile, in another circular, the state government stated, "the Director of Medical Education has stated that until the year 2016-17 50% of the seats in the postgraduate degree courses and postgraduate diploma courses were surrendered to All India Quota for which and all India examination was conducted by the national board of examination while the remaining 50% seats were allotted to State quota for which state level entrance examination was conducted by additional director of Medical education and secretary selection committee and counseling for the State quota was done based on the merit list and by following the rules of reservation." It further added that from now on 50% of seats for postgraduate degrees diploma courses in Tamil Nadu within the state quota (25% of the total seats) will be reserved for in-service candidates.
However, the matter of the orders became a point of concern before the Madras High Court where Justice Anand Venkatesh had considered a number of cases filed by in-service medicos for further hearing.
Medical Dialogues team had earlier reported that when the central government had asked the court to defer the hearings till the dismissal of a case in the supreme court, the senior counsel for the serving doctors stated that the case which is being considered in the apex court has no connection with the current circumstances and hence the government's implementation of the quota should not be delayed. Thereafter, the Madras High court, on November 9 refused to defer the hearing and disposed of the plea.
Now, the Supreme Court on Tuesday issued a notice to the State authorities while considering a plea moved by the group of PG doctors, led by Amit Mohanty, who qualified in NEET 2020, for admissions to super-specialty medical courses for the current academic year. The appeal was filed by advocate Shivendra Singh, with caveats filed by senior advocate P. Wilson.
In their appeal, the doctors argued that the apex court was already seized of the issue of reservation in super-specialty medical courses in the Dr. Preeti Sharma case and had ordered the maintenance of the status quo till it was finally decided.
Besides, they contended that a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court, exported in 1999, had held that "merit, and merit alone, is the basis for admission at the super-specialty level".
Instead, the November 7 order of the State government had empowered the Secretary, Selection Committee, to conduct counseling and fill 50% of the super-specialty seats in government medical colleges with in-service candidates in the State of Tamil Nadu.
The appeal argued that the order was contrary to the Postgraduate Medical Education (Amendment) Regulations of 2019, which mandates that the Directorate General of Health Services should be in charge of the admission process.
"There is no concept of any reservation for admission to super-specialty medical courses," the appeal stated.
Hearing the plea, the apex court issued notice but did not order a stay of the State government order or the subsequent decision of the High Court, which is on appeal in the apex court.
As per a recent report by The Hindu, the court scheduled a hearing for November 19.