Ranchi, Sept. 28: Jharkhand High Court has granted respite to tribal students, who were on the verge of losing out medical seats to non-tribals.
Last evening, the high court passed an interim order, asking Jharkhand Combined Entrance Competitive Examination Board (JCECEB) to fill the vacant reserved seats in two state medical colleges by only taking ST candidates.
JCECEB was supposed to conduct counselling today for non-tribal students for taking them in the 19 seats lying vacant at Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Medical College and Hospital (MGM) in Jamshedpur and Patliputra Medical College and Hospital (PMCH) in Dhanbad as ST candidates could not clear the entrance test. But it did not begin the counselling process after receiving the high court order this morning. Instead, the board admitted ST students even though they had failed to secure the minimum qualifying marks (40 per cent) in the entrance test this year.
"After the board received the high court order, it decided to immediately organise counselling for ST students as it has to complete the admission process by September 30 according to a guideline of the Medical Council of India (MCI). All 19 seats were filled up by 1.30pm," officer on special duty and deputy controller of examination R.K. Singh told The Telegraph.
Of these 19 seats, nine are in MGM and 10 in PMCH. There are 39 reserved seats for STs in three state-run colleges — RIMS, MGM and PMCH.
Sources said the court of Justice R.K. Merathia passed the interim order while hearing a case filed by a tribal student a few days ago.
Tarun Baxla, a resident of Ranchi who had appeared in the medical entrance examination but could not qualify, approached the court, saying that the board prospectus did not say that an ST candidate had to secure minimum 40 per cent marks for getting admission. Rather, he said, the prospectus stated that the 40 per cent cut-off was an average of the marks received in the entrance test and marks secured in physics, chemistry and biology in intermediate examination.
However, the court's directive is in contradiction of the rules of MCI, which bars the state government from filling reserved seats with students, who did not clear the entrance test.
Last year, the state had admitted 32 ST students in three medical colleges even though they had not secured the minimum qualifying marks.
Later, these students landed in trouble after the MCI objected to their enrolment.source-telegraphindia.com