SC throws open pvt medical colleges in Kerala to external candidates

Medical seats in private colleges: Out-of-state students allowed

The campuses of private medical colleges in Kerala will soon have students from outside the state as per the latest order of Supreme Court. The apex court has directed private medical colleges in Kerala to allow students from outside the state to apply for their medical seats. The entrance commission should receive such applications on its website until May 20, the court ordered.

The interim order by a bench comprising SA Bobde and S Abdul Nasir comes on a plea by an association of 18 private medical colleges in the state.

So far, only government medical colleges allow a 15 per cent national quota; however, private colleges cannot admit students from outside the state. The association had moved the court against this directive mentioned in the prospectus brought out by the entrance commissioner, saying it was unconstitutional.

Petitioners argue this will attract more students to state, where fees are comparatively low.

First round of counseling for aspirants of medicine course is between June 25 and July 5. Since courts are on vacation until July 1, they are allowed to approach a vacation bench if there are issues with external applications. Their plea will be heard in detail on August 20.

The state government argued that seats in state should be reserved for students within Kerala only. Interim orders such as these will adversely affect admission process. The 15 per cent cap must be applicable to private institutions too, ther state counsels argued.

Jaideep Gupta and standing counsel G Prakash argued for the state.

Representing petitioners, Shyam Diwan and PS Sulfikar Ali said 100 per cent seats in the state have been reserved for students from Kerala. When exams are held on a national level (NEET), restricting admissions to students exclusively from within state violates constitutional rights of colleges and outstate students, they argued.

The plea also sought four years’ bank guarantee along with first year’s fee, right to spot admission and right to reserve seats for management quota. However, only admission issue was considered by the apex court on Friday.

HC rejected similar plea last year

Last year’s prospectus too had reserved seats for students from Kerala in private colleges. The Kerala High Court had rejected this. A review petition filed is now pending with the Supreme Court. Hence, the management association moved the SC directly this year.

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