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‘Can’t compromise medical education’

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday refused to entertain a plea by MBBS students seeking a stray round of counselling for admission in NEET-PG, 2021, as 1,456 seats were still vacant.

A bench comprising Justices M.R. Shah and Aniruddha Bose said nine rounds of counselling have been conducted so far and a fresh counselling at this stage would delay the academic session.
The top court said the quality of medical education cannot be compromised which affects public health. It further added that petitioners are not entitled to relief, and if a relief is granted now then it may affect medical education and public health.
On Thursday, the Supreme Court orally observed that there should be a limit for every exercise and admissions made after 1.5 years might compromise medical education and health of the people, while reserving order on pleas seeking a special stray round of counselling for NEET-PG 2021, to fill vacant seats.
The top court said there must be a limit on the number of rounds of counselling to fill vacant seats. “Since many years, the seats have remained vacant and it’s not for the very first time….There has to be a limit for every exercise, and seats may remain vacant even after 10 rounds,” said Justice Shah.
The bench further added that after 8 or 9 rounds of counselling, the seats are still vacant and students cannot claim rights after 1.5 years. “Can it be said now that after 1.5 years, you will be given admission and compromise the health of people,” the bench orally remarked.
Noting that it’s a three-year course, the bench added, “There cannot be any compromise with education…. Suppose you’re hungry for six months, can you eat everything in 1 day? No…education is like that.”
The Centre’s counsel submitted that those who qualified NEET PG-2021 have already started attending classes since February, and if vacant seats are filled up now then they would be behind the class for over six months. He further pointed out that teachers would also have to teach the students who will come in NEET PG 2022.
The Centre’s counsel clarified that out of 1,456 vacant seats, the majority are in non-clinical or teaching, and nobody wants to go into the teaching area, and also nobody came for the deposits. “These are seats taken, but admission not taken,” added Additional Solicitor General Balbir Singh, representing the central government.
The top court order came on the pleas by MBBS students seeking a stray round of counselling for admission in NEET-PG, 2021, to fill over 1,400 vacant seats.

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