Following the UT administration’s decision to remove all exemptions for defense personnel sections in the ‘UT pool’ category, a move which was also upheld by the Supreme Court, only two students were admitted to the defense category in the MBBS course at the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH ), sector 32.
Last year, 20 students were enrolled in the category, of which 15 students did not meet the eligibility criteria for the UT group, but were admitted due to exemptions for defense personnel departments. Similarly, three such students were admitted in the 2020-21 school year.
But after some people challenged it in the Punjab and Haryana High Court last year, the UT issued a notification on July 15 this year allowing admission to the UT batch only to protégés of defense personnel who were domiciled in Chandigarh at the time of joining the service.
After the criteria changed, only two batches of defense personnel applied for MBBS admissions for the 2022-23 academic session and both were admitted to the UT batch after the counseling ended on Friday. The parents of both the students were domiciled in Chandigarh at the time of joining the service.
As reported by the GMCH-32 study branch, the faculty took the necessary certificate from the two students as proof, which was signed by the competent defense authority and proved their permanent residence status.
UT Health Secretary Yashpal Garg said, “The UT administration has changed the criteria to give equal opportunities to the wards of defense personnel residing in Chandigarh. Earlier exemptions were increasing unnecessary competition for UT group candidates as defense departments were also eligible through central group while students from Chandigarh were not given any other chance.”
To be eligible for the UT group, a candidate must have completed 10th, 11th and 12th grade in schools or colleges recognized by the UT administration and located in the city. But candidates whose parents have been residing in Chandigarh for the last five years immediately preceding the date of application are eligible even if they do not fulfill the first criterion.
Candidates whose parents are city government employees or central government/state government employees posted in Chandigarh are also eligible under the third criterion.
In 2007, the domestic department of UT waived the domicile restrictions of minimum stay in Chandigarh and the condition of passing classes 10 to 12 in the city in respect of the departments of military personnel and ex-servicemen seeking admission in UT institutions. A year later, the administration decided to provide admission to service defense personnel departments at GMCH-32 under the 85% quota of the UT association.
146 out of 150 MBBS seats are filled
GMCH-32 is the only college in Chandigarh offering MBBS course. Out of the total 150 MBBS seats in the college, 15% are for All India Quota or Central Recruitment and the remaining 85% (115) belong to the UT Recruitment which are locally filled by the Admission Committee as per the criteria set by the UT Administration.
According to the counseling held at GMCH-32 on October 27 and 28, all 115 seats in the UT pool are occupied. Also, 22 seats in the central pool and nine seats in the NRI quota, which is also a part of the central pool, are filled. There are now only four seats available in the central pool for which a new round of counseling will be held in November.