Even a single Medical seat must not remain vacant: SC slams MCC, Centre over 1,456 vacant NEET PG seats
"Even if the single course has remained vacant, it must not remain unfilled. It's your duty to see that they don't remain vacated. You're playing with the future of students," the Bench comprising Justices MR Shah and Aniruddha Bose noted.
New Delhi: Taking note of the fact that a total number of 1,456 PG medical seats have remained vacant since the completion of the NEET PG 2021 counselling process on May 7, the Supreme Court on Wednesday heavily slammed the Central Government and the Medical Counselling Committee (MCC).Opining that the practice of leaving seats vacant not only negatively affects the aspirants but it also...
New Delhi: Taking note of the fact that a total number of 1,456 PG medical seats have remained vacant since the completion of the NEET PG 2021 counselling process on May 7, the Supreme Court on Wednesday heavily slammed the Central Government and the Medical Counselling Committee (MCC).
Opining that the practice of leaving seats vacant not only negatively affects the aspirants but it also results in scarcity of qualified specialist doctors, the top court bench clarified that the duty of MCC and the Central Government should be to ensure that even a single seat does not remain vacant.
"Even if the single course has remained vacant, it must not remain unfilled. It's your duty to see that they don't remain vacated. You're playing with the future of students," the Bench comprising of Justices MR Shah and Aniruddha Bose noted.
Directing them to file an affidavit explaining the scenario, the court has also directed the concerned officials of Centre and MCC to remain present in the court on Thursday when the court passes an order in this regard.
Listing the matter for further hearing on June 9, the bench observed, "Counsel for MCC & UOI has stated that ASG is appearing & he has some personal difficulty today. When question was asked to him whether any seats had remained vacant, he had stated that approximately 1,456 seats have remained vacant from May onwards. Counsel for the MCC & UOI prays for time to file the affidavit pointing out the position of the vacant seats & why they were not filled in. Let the affidavit be filed during the course of the day. The copy be given to the counsel for the petitioners. Put up tomorrow."
Medical Dialogues had earlier reported that the Supreme Court while considering the plea seeking a Special Stray Vacancy Round for the vacant NEET-PG seats had directed the Medical Counselling Committee (MCC) to provide the exact number of vacant seats after the completion of All India Quota Stray Vacancy Round.
The plea has been moved by candidates who appeared in NEET-PG 2021 exam and took part in both the rounds (Round 1 and Round 2) of the AIQ Counselling and State Quota Counselling along with the Mop-up.
Contending that an additional round of counselling is necessary for avoiding wastage of seats, the doctors had mentioned in the petition, "Occupying remaining seats (on the basis of merit) works in the interest of both the college as well as candidates. While the college would refrain in incurring heavy losses in each vacant seat, the candidates will also lose a seat, which they are otherwise deserving of."
The matter was listed for further hearing on June 8. As per the latest media report by Live Law, during the hearing of the case on Wednesday, the top court bench took note of the fact that approximately 1,456 seats have remained vacant since May, when the counselling for the academic session 2021-2022 concluded.
At this outset, the bench opined that considering the vacant seats, the authorities should have conducted a mop up round and observed, "What would you get in leaving the seat vacant when we are in need of doctors?...Where are we leading? Why is there no streamline? And stress less the education system. Do you know the stress level of the students & the parents?"
Further slamming the MCC over the addition of seats in the middle of counselling, the bench was quoted noting by the daily, "Why during the midst of the counselling, you're adding the seats? There must be a cut off that as on date there are number of seats, admissions are given. This increase the chance of corruption if the seats are added."
The counsel for the MCC responded by submitting that the ASG was unavailable. Praying for one day's time, the MCC counsel assured that explaining all the circumstances an affidavit will be placed on record.
However, the bench permitted the MCC to file an affidavit during the course of the day and remarked, "These are very important matters related to rights of the students in medical matters. Union govt is not run by 1 ASG."
Times of India adds that the Supreme Court bench also directed the concerned officials to remain present on Thursday when the court passes an order. Further opining that the admission process needs to be streamlines, and additional mop-up sessions should be held for filling up all the vacant seats, the bench observed, "Even if there is a single vacant seat it should not have gone unfilled. It's the duty of the Medical Council to see that these seats don't remain vacant. After every round of counselling, this is the same problem."
However, the Central Government and the MCC expressed its unwillingness in holding another round of counselling as it pointed out that the counselling for 2022-23 would commence soon and the whole process might get delayed if a fresh round of counselling is held.
Barsha completed her MA from the University of Burdwan, West Bengal in 2018. Having a knack for Journalism she joined Medical Dialogues back in 2020. She mainly covers news about medico legal cases, NMC/DCI updates, medical education issues including the latest updates about medical and dental colleges in India. She can be contacted at email@example.com.