Chandigarh: Only two students belonging to the defense category have been admitted to the MBBS course at Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32 this year, whereas last year around 20 students had taken admission under the UT pool by availing the exemptions earlier offered to the wards of defense personnel.
This huge decrease in the numbers has resulted from the decision of the Chandigarh administration of removing all such exemptions offered to the defense category students.
Although this move of had been challenged by the students, finally the new rule got implemented after the Supreme Court upheld the same. Earlier there was a distinction between the wards of defence personnel/ex-servicemen and the local candidates of Chandigarh in terms of applying at GMCH-32. While the candidates belonging to the former category could apply from anywhere in India for Chandigarh, the latter were not allowed to apply in any other State/UT of India to be eligible for GMCH-32.
However, the UT administration modified the conditions after several pleas challenging the waiver of domicile to the wards of defense personnel were filed before the Punjab and Haryana High Court.
Naturally, the students belonging to the defense category were upset with the changes introduced in the MBBS eligibility criteria. The matter was challenged before the High Court where a student had questioned the modifications introduced by the UT administration.
It was argued by the petitioner that such a harsh condition made the concession offered to the wards of Defence wards as purposeless. The plea claimed that since a Defence personnel belongs to the whole country he should at least get the choice of at least one state quota as per his/her choice.
Finally the matter reached the Supreme Court and recently the top court bench dismissed the plea . Upholding the modified rule, the top court bench headed by Justice Dr DY Chandrachud and Justice Hima Kohli ordered that the MBBS admissions continue as per the new eligibility conditions as mentioned in the notification dated July 15, 2022.
As per the latest media report by Hindustan Times, after the changed criteria was implemented, only two wards of defence personnel applied for MBBS admission for the 2022-2023 academic session and both got admission under the UT pool.
In case of these two students, their parents had permanent residence in Chandigarh at the time of entry into service. The academic branch of GMHC-32 has informed the daily that the college obtained requisite certificates from the students as proof, which was signed by a competent authority from defence. Those documents proved their permanent residency status.
While commenting on it, the UT health secretary Yashpal Garg said, “The UT administration changed the criteria to give equal opportunity to wards of defence personnel having residency in Chandigarh. The earlier exemptions were increasing unnecessary competition for UT pool candidates, as the defence wards were also eligible through the central pool, while students from Chandigarh got no other opportunity.”
The 150 MBBS seats at the medical college are distributed by contributing 15% of the seats to the All India Quota, whereas the rest of the 85% (115) seats remain for the UT pool. While the Central Government fills the seats belonging to the Central pool, it is the UT administration which decides admission process for the UT pool seats.
In the guidelines, it was specified that MBBS candidates who have passed Class X, XI and XII from schools/colleges recognized by the Administration and situated in the UT, as a regular student, would be eligible for MBBS admission. Earlier, students, who had passed Class XII from schools/colleges in the UT were eligible.
Apart from this, the candidates whose parents are residents of the UT for the last five years before the date of application, become eligible for the admission, even if they do not meet the criteria mentioned above.
There is also a third criteria, as per which the wards of government employees in the city of central government/state government employees on deputation to Chandigarh become eligible for admission. In fact, the children of employees working in autonomous bodies/companies in which Chandigarh administration has 20% or more share, for the past three years before the date of application also become eligible for the admission.
Back in 2007, the UT home department had waived the domiciliary restrictions of minimum stay in Chandigarh and the condition of passing classes 10 to 12 from the city for the wards of defence personnel and ex-servicemen. After one year, the UT government had decided to allow the wards of service defence personnel at GMCh-32 under 85% UT pool quota. These exemptions have now been removed by the Chandigarh administration.
After the completion of the counselling process, 115 seats in the UT pool have been filled. Besides central pool seats and nine seats in NRI quota have also been filled. Currently, only four central pool seats are available at the college and in this regard, another round of counselling will be held in November.