Madras HC quashes TN govt appeal on 85pc quota for state board students: What this means

The Tamil Nadu government had passed an order on June 22, reserving 85% of seats under the state quota for students of the state board.
Madras HC quashes TN govt appeal on 85pc quota for state board students: What this means
Madras HC quashes TN govt appeal on 85pc quota for state board students: What this means
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The Madras High Court dismissed, on Monday, the Tamil Nadu government’s appeal against a single-judge verdict quashing its Government Order granting 85% reservation to state board students for medical admissions.

Ruling that the appeals “lack merit”, a division bench comprising of Justices Nooty Ramamohana Rao and M Dhandapani dismissed the state’s writ appeal.

A single judge of the Madras HC had scrapped the state’s GO on July 14, calling it “discriminatory”.

With medical aspirants in the state gripped with uncertainty, the division bench ordered the Tamil Nadu government to not delay the MBBS admissions process any further and fill up seats before the deadline of August 31, 2017.

The Tamil Nadu government had passed an order on June 22 earmarking 85% of seats to state board students in medical admissions under the state quota. The remaining 15% would be given to students from CBSE and other boards. Incidentally, 15% of the state’s seats are allocated for students under the all-India quota.

The GO had been notified after only 38.84% of students passed the NEET in Tamil Nadu, the lowest pass percentage recorded in the south. Many had pointed to the Tamil Nadu government’s failure to update and revise its syllabus for the state’s poor performance in NEET.   

In its judgement, the Division Bench of the Madras HC highlighted the “unequal distribution and non-availability of the infrastructural facilities” in schools across Tamil Nadu and hit out at the state government for failing to address this malady.

“…the State shall also endeavour to ensure that all the students get their knowledge updated by constant revision of the syllabus prescribed by the State. The State has an obligation to ensure that a competent academic body comprising of academicians only shall periodically undertake a review of the syllabus preferably once in 3 to 5 years’ span, so that the students of Tamil Nadu do not lag behind on the national scale in studying the 10 + 2 course, as 10 + 2 course is a gateway for all higher education,” reads the Madras HC order.

So what does the Madras HC order mean for medical aspirants in Tamil Nadu?

Tamil Nadu has 3050 medical seats. Out of this, 456 seats will be filled by the Director General of Health Services through the all-India quota for admission to MBBS/BDS seats.

The remaining 2594 seats, which includes those in government and self-financing institutes, will now be filled by the Tamil Nadu government through counselling based on NEET scores. There will be no reservation for state board students in MBBS and BDS admissions following the High Court’s order.

However, the HC order aside, the Tamil Nadu government is also pushing the Centre to exempt the state’s students from NEET, the common nation-wide medical entrance tests. The state Health Minister C Vijayabaskar together with Health Secretary Radhakrishnan on Monday met Union Health Minister JP Nadda and Minister of State at the PMO Jitendra Singh for a “final effort” in seeking exemption to NEET.

Arguing that NEET would affect the state’s students, Tamil Nadu had passed two bills in February seeking to continue medical admissions based on the class 12 marks, and exempting the state from the ambit of NEET.


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