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MCI has no power to provide reservation for in-service candidates to PG medical courses: Supreme Court

Supreme Court of India

Synopsis: The Bench ruled that MCI regulation excluded such reservations as discriminatory and unconstitutional. After completing PG degree, it requested the states to devise a scheme for rural/remote treatment in-service doctors.

The Supreme Court, on Monday allowed states to reserve seats for admissions to PG in the case of doctors serving in remote areas.

The five-judge constitutional bench, headed by Justice Arun Mishra, ruled states to have legislative powers to make their own reservation provisions. The bench of justice also comprises the justices Indira Banerjee, Aniruddha Bose, Vineet Saran and M R Shah.

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The court observed that the MCI is the creation of a statute under the Constitution’s Entry 66 of List 1 and its duty is to uphold the medical education standards. The apex court earlier ruled that the Medical Council of India (MCI) barring state governments from exercising their powers is unconstitutional. This clarifies, MCI has absolutely no power to make reservation policies.

The verdict was given on a plea filed by Tamil Nadu Medical Officers Association and other bodies contending the fact that such reservations will be a source of encouragement for doctors serving in rural areas.

The bench ruled that after completing the PG degree, states would have to devise schemes for in-service doctors working in remote or rural areas. It  also mentioned that work bonds need to be in place for in-service doctors in rural/remote areas availing PG admission through reservations.

Earlier, on July 14, the bench reserved dates for determining whether states had ample authority to impose limitations of medical admissions to the PG.

Petitions challenged the Post Graduate Medical Education Regulations, 2000 of MCI that removed the power of the state and legislate ‘manner and method’ for PG medical courses admission.

PG Medical Education Regulations, 2000 states that reserving 50% seats in PG Diploma in Medical courses for in-service medical officers that however bars in PG courses. Admission to PG medical courses take place through National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) PG. 50% seats are reserved under state quote for in-service doctors and 50% seats are filled through All India Ranking.

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