NEET 2016: SC stays HC order over deemed university admission in Maharashtra

The confusion around medical admission across the country doesn’t seem to be ending soon. The Supreme Court on Friday ordered status-quo on all Deemed University medical and dental admissions in Maharashtra. The deemed universities in the state were conducting admission for the academic year 2016-176, on the basis of Bombay High Court order passed on August 30, 2016.

However, the Government of Maharashtra had filed three special petitions in Supreme Court, opposing the separate admission procedure for deemed universities. The court on Friday issued stay over the Bombay High Court order, stating that the petitions will be heard again on September 19, 2016. The bench of justices Shiva Kirti Singh and R Banumathi, in their order stated, “Prima facie, we are of the view that the High Court should not have stayed the orders issued by the State of Maharashtra and the Union of India dated August 20, 2016 and August 9, 2016 respectively. Hence the impugned order passed by the Bombay High Court is stayed till the next date of hearing.”

The new order is expected to raise confusion among the medical aspirants who have already taken or are planning to take admission in the deemed universities across the state. According to the website of one of the deemed universities, Pravara Institute of Medical Sciences, Ahmednagar, there are no MBBS seats left vacant for this academic year as on September 16, 2016. Another deemed university, MGM Institute of Health Sciences, has notified through its website that the first round of counselling to be held on September 18 and 19 is ‘withheld’ till further notice.

The University Grants Commission (UGC) also released a letter addressed to all the Vice-Chancellors of the deemed universities on September 15, 2016 stating, “All the Institutions deemed to be universities shall be part of common counselling for admission in medical courses organized either by State Government/Central Government or through its agencies based on the marks obtained in NEET.” UGC is the constitutional central governing body of the deemed to be universities across the country. Hence, there will be pressure among the deemed universities in Maharashtra to take admission of medical students on the basis of NEET scores through common counselling.

The Directorate of Medical Education & Research (DMER), Maharashtra has also notified through its website about the stay order passed by the apex court and has told the students, parents and concerned management authorities to take note of the Supreme Court order on September 19, 2016. The future of the medical aspirants is hanging on balance as the deadline set by SC (September 30, 2016) to complete the admission process throughout the country is coming closer.