Playing with future of students SC irked over 1 456 vacant seats in NEET PG

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New Delhi, June 8

The Supreme Court on Wednesday slammed the Medical Counselling Committee (MCC) on 1,456 vacant seats in NEET PG-2021, saying if students are not given admission, then it will pass orders and also grant them compensation.

A vacation bench comprising Justices M.R. Shah and Aniruddha Bose told the MCC counsel, "Even if the single course has remained vacant…It's your duty to see that they don't remain vacant."

The bench got irked to learn that 1,456 seats have remained vacant in medical colleges in the 2021-22 session. It said the MCC and Centre are playing with the life of students by not conducting a mop up round of counselling for students. "You're playing with the future of students…," said the bench, adding that in May, the authorities learnt that seats were vacant, so why didn't they conduct a mop up round.

The bench told the MCC counsel, "Why during the midst of the counselling, you're adding the seats? There must be a cut off that as on date there are a number of seats…" The MCC counsel submitted that orders in the matter would lead to cascading effect and requested the court to allow him to place an affidavit on record to explain the matter.

The top court emphasized that the country needs doctors and super speciality medical professionals, and told the MCC counsel that if the students are not given admission, then it will pass an order and also grant them compensation. The top court directed officers concerned to remain present in the court tomorrow, when it will pass order in the matter. "We'll pass orders for paying compensation… Who's responsible for this situation? …Call your officer tomorrow…," said the bench.

The bench further added, "We need doctors…Why is there no streamline?… Do you know the stress level of the students and the parents?"

The bench allowed the MCC counsel to file its affidavit during the course of the day and emphasized, "these are very important matters related to rights of the students".

The top court made these observations while hearing a plea by a doctor Atharv Tungatkar, who appeared for the NEET PG-2021 and qualified it.

The plea, filed through advocate Kunal Cheema, said: "The petitioner is constrained to approach this court since precious medical seats may go unfilled/improperly filled and merit may be the casualty, since the modified scheme placed before this court by the Respondent no.1 in the matter of Nihil a P.P. v/s The Medical Counselling Committee…salient features of which are recorded by this court in order dated 16.12.2021 passed in the said matter, does not provide for, as to what happens to those AIQ seats which remain vacant despite the fourth round."

The plea added, "The chances of many seats remaining vacant after the fourth round is inevitable for the reasons stated hereinafter and the hence the petitioner is filing the present writ petition for appropriate writ praying for direction that the same shall revert back to the states, so that meritorious candidates would get a chance to avail the same".


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