Supreme Court takes ‘serious view’ of AIIMS decision to cancel INI-CET admission rounds | Tech US News

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In a plea challenging the decision of AIIMS, New Delhi to cancel the open and on-site rounds for the July 2022 session of INI-CET (Institute of National Importance, Combined Entrance Test), the Supreme Court expressed disappointment to see that the seats at the top medical faculties in the country are not filled.

The petition claims that the impugned decision came as a surprise to the candidates who were expecting seats in the top medical colleges of the country through the open and live admission rounds of the INI-CET examination. INI-CET was introduced in 2020 for admission to PG medical courses in AIIMS and some other reputed medical institutions. Medical students are admitted to PG courses through NEET but INI-CET is exclusively for admission to PG courses in institutes of national importance.

Bench that contains Judges Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Abhay S. Oka sternly told the counsel appearing on behalf of AIIMS that he would seriously look into the seats left vacant in the July 2022 INI-CET session.

“We’re going to take this seriously. You need to fill the spots. Period.”

It granted a week’s time to file a counter affidavit and then 3 days to file a rejoinder.

St. adv. Gopal Sankaranarayanan appearing on behalf of the petitioners started his arguments explaining the misery of the candidates who were in their prime preparing for these competitive exams but unfortunately their aspirations fell prey to administrative apathy.

“This is becoming an annual affair, where students spend the better part of their lives preparing, due to complete administrative apathy your lordship’s courts are worried about these applications. I don’t understand why they can’t sort this out.”

He pointed out that although the results for the INI-CET exam were declared on May 14, 2022, AIIMS took around three months to start the counseling process. The first round of counseling was held on August 5, 2022, and the second round was held between August 27, 2022 and August 31, 2022. The senior counsel informed the judgment that according to the judgment of the Supreme Court in Ashish Ranjan v. Union of India, (2016) approved the timetable prepared by the erstwhile Medical Council of India. According to the mentioned schedule, the last deadline for filling medical posts for unfilled vacancies is August 31 of the relevant academic year.

Mr. Sankaranarayanan stated that AIIMS had applied on September 1, 2022 to extend the counseling period beyond August 31. However, he submitted that the same was rejected as AIIMS was unable to examine the facts and circumstances to the best of their ability. Thereafter, the present writ petition was filed and the court was informed that out of the 919 most desirable posts for medical PGs in the country, only 182 were filled.The Supreme Court issued a notice on 30 September 2022.

After hearing the submissions on factual aspects, Justice Kaul asked the AIIMS counsel, “How many seats are available?”

He replied, “450. They are carried over to the next year”

Disgruntled, the judge declared, “How can you not fill the vacancies?”

Counsel representing AIIMS submitted –

“NEET timelines are different, our timelines are different. We conduct examinations twice a year.”

Justice Kaul reiterated, “Why can’t you fill it?”

The counselor replied, “These exams are held twice. The next one is on November 13th.”

Dissatisfied with the answer, Justice Kaul remarked, “How does it answer our question? When the seats are available, why aren’t they filled.”

Justice Oka asked the counselor why there was a delay in starting the counseling process.

The consultant replied: “two rounds have already taken place. The open round and on-site round did not take place… This time the entire exam software had to be changed, the entire mechanism was changed. There are 12 AIIMS, all had to be taken on board.

Justice Kaul opined, “You need doctors, you have seats and you can’t fill them.

The counsel assured the court that the seats were not wasted but carried over to the next session.

Justice Oka aptly pointed out, “But candidates have to take the exam again, compete again.”

Mr. Sankaranarayanan argued that it is time for the Court to take suo moto cognizance and lay down some guidelines for medical admissions in the country.

Justice Kaul was of the opinion, “The problem today is that we are trying to manage the admissions process, we will have to leave that to the authorities.”

The matter will next be listed on 17 November 2022.

[Case Title: Sarthak Vats And Ors. v. AIIMS New Delhi And Ors. WP(C) No. 856/2022]

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