More than two months after the National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET) were declared, Punjab is yet to begin its first counselling for admission to MBBS and BDS courses in its medical colleges. This, even as classes have started at the medical colleges in other states. In Punjab, the first counselling used to be conducted in the first week of July. The delay this year is being attributed to a legal dispute over reservation of seats in management quota.
A group of students had moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court seeking micro reservation in management quota of private medical colleges and an increase in sports quota. In its verdict on July 26, the high court held that micro reservation of 1% in MBBS and BDS courses for children/grandchildren of terror-affected persons, anti-sikh riots-affected persons would be applicable to both the state quota and the management quota in all private and unaided non-minority medical or dental institutions. The HC also held that under the sports quota, the reservation in government colleges will be 3% and not 1% as notified by the government.
Prior to that, the Punjab government had informed the HC that it has decided to extend the reservation for sportspersons and children or grandchildren of Sikh riot victims under the state quota in private medical colleges for the MBBS course. “These micro reservations already exist in government medical colleges and the government, as per its amended notification of July 11, 2019, has extended the same now to the government quota of 50% to private colleges also,” Advocate General Atul Nandu had submitted before the HC.