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HC supports Punjab Government’s MBBS state quota

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has passed its judgment upholding Punjab government’s decision to provide admission in MBBS/BDS courses within the 85 per cent state quota to students who have passed Class XII from a school in Punjab and also have residential status of the state.

While dismissing the petition, filed by MBBS aspirant Shamy Jindal, Justice K Kannan excerpted, “The notification prescribing the residential status in Punjab and also requiring 10+2 (Class 12) is founded on a primacy of importance to ‘local candidates’, a practice adopted literally by every state government and what has found judicial approbation in the Supreme Court as well.”

The court also reminded the petitioner that it was up to the state government to set the eligibility criteria for its state admissions and if it had in the process made it necessary to pass Class XII from any institute located in the state that has groomed a candidate for admission to a medical college, it could not be said to be arbitrary; as per the Hindustan Times reports.

The state government had kept the petitioner out of the 85 per cent state quota as she had completed her Class XII education from Delhi and not Punjab. However, the petitioner had questioned the decision as she is a permanent resident of Mansa and had said that she has the right for admission to a medical college in the state as she is a resident of Punjab. Even though she does not reside in the state but was born in the state of Punjab and hence was entitled to be treated as a resident. In doing so she had challenged Punjab Government’s March 7 notification which had set the eligibility criterion.

Kannan who found the state’s notification justified in doing so said, “It is expected that a person who passes out of the college also serves within the state where he or she studied that would benefit the public in that state. As parochial as it might seem, there have been regional aspirations from various states of empowering the respective states, preference to the candidate domiciled in the state or who have studied from an institution established within the state.”

He also expressed himself by adding that, “From a larger perspective of pan-Indian growth, it might seem deleterious but in the strength of various states as units each clamouring for better performance, there is bound to be a sum of a national prosperity as well.”

Baba Farid University of Health Sciences (BFUHS), Faridkot, and the Punjab government had contended that a resident of Punjab could not be someone who was born in Punjab, which was as set originally in the policy issued by the state government on June 6, 1996. It was submitted that the 1996 policy was modified as the department of medical education and research had added the requirement of passing Class 12 from a recognised institution situated in the state.

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