Federation of Resident Doctors’ Association India (FORDA) on Wednesday wrote a letter to Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan and sought his intervention on the in-service reservations in some states. The association said that the exam prospectus as well as the process of Counselling that were declared had no provision of any kind of reservation in super-specialty courses and decisions like this at such point will surely deprive deserving candidates a chance to get admission in such courses.
“National Eligibility cum Entrance Test Super Speciality or NEET SS 2020-21 counselling was supposed to start on October 8. Merely two days before that, certain states, especially Tamil Nadu and Kerala, have asked for a reservation for in-service candidates. The point is that in certain states there are no in-service candidates. So there is no logic of allowing this reservation,” FORDA President Dr Shivaji Dev Barman said.
Regarding Reservation in Super-Speciality Counselling for admission to DM, MCh, DNB SS courses & subsequent postponement of counselling @drharshvardhan @DrHVoffice @MoHFW_INDIA @profplal @medicaldialogs @HealthwireMedia @ANI @PTI_News @ians_india pic.twitter.com/bIyUsV93X8
— FORDA INDIA (@FordaIndia) October 14, 2020
The letter mentioned the Supreme Court of India ruling in 2015 in which declared that there should be no provision of reservation in the Super-Speciality courses.
Dr Barman said that it clearly stated that only meritorious students should get admission in such courses which included DM, MCh, and DNB SS.
“In March 2020, the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare had also informed in the Parliament regarding this, in line with the Supreme Court’s judgement,” the letter reads.
“Now the career of many meritorious students who secured good rank is in the lurch. There are very limited seats for Super-Speciality courses in the country. There are students of some other state getting admission to different states. If certain states implement this in-service reservation, there will many students who will not get the desired seat even after securing good marks in the entrance exam,” the FORDA president said.
He said that the counselling process should begin at the earliest according to the earlier notification where there was no mention of in-service reservations.
However, the Supreme Court on August 31 ruled that states can frame regulations for separate entry for such in-service candidates.
The association said that hospitals are suffering from a lack of manpower in these times of crisis due to delay in counselling process as final year Super-Speciality candidates have already completed their tenure in respective institutions.
FORDA has also given a copy of this letter to the Director General of Health Services, Additional Director General of the Medical Counselling Committee (MCC), and Executive Director, National Board of Examinations.
“We have been approached by my candidates who have secured good ranks but now they are not sure whether they will be able to secure the seat because of this in-service reservation. Today we have raised the issue with the minister and will further discuss what steps need to be taken,” Dr Barman said.
What Is In-Service Reservation
Certain amount of seats will be reserved for candidates who after doing their post-graduation are serving in any state like in state health service.
What In-Service Candidates Have To Say
In-service candidates argue that they work round the clock and therefore hardly find any time to increase their knowledge so that they can compete with general category merit candidates.
In-service candidates from Kerala, Maharashtra, and Haryana are of the view that granting reservation benefits would encourage those working in government hospitals and in rural areas.
Centre’s Stand On In-Service Reservation
The Centre and the Medical Council of India (MCI) had opposed the reservation saying granting reservations to in-service candidates would directly impinge on the authority of MCI to coordinate and determine standards of medical education.