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MBBS quota: T.N. appeals against order


The State government on Monday went on appeal against the order of a single judge setting aside the reservation of 85% of the seats to State board students and 15% for others in MBBS/BDS courses for the current academic year.
In its appeal in the Madras High Court, the government said that judge K. Ravichandra Baabu ought to have considered that even though the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) was common for all students, the question paper was prepared by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), and all the questions had been taken from the CBSE syllabus.
It also said that only 50 % of the questions were covered in the State board syllabus; therefore, the CBSE students had an advantage over State board students.
From the above, it is clear that the students who studied under the State board and those students who studied under the CBSE board are not equals. Hence, unequals cannot be treated as equals as per Article 14 of the Constitution. To ensure equal opportunity to the students of varying boards, normalisation has been followed till now under the Tamil Nadu Admission in Professional Educational Institutions Act 2006. The above Act came into force on March 7, 2007, after receiving the Presidential assent and was upheld by a Division Bench of the High Court.
The above Act is not under challenge and the Constitutional validity of the Act has been upheld by the Supreme Court under which the admissions to medical and all other professional educational institutions were done 2016-17 in the State. In the appeal, Tamil Nadu further said that the Supreme Court, which delivered a judgment on a civil appeal on May 2, 2016, has specifically upheld the power of the State government to legislate on admissions.
In its appeal, the State submitted that though the Government of India has amended the Medical Council of India Act, 1956, and the Dentist Act, 1948, for conducting NEET examination, the State government has the powers to enact a separate law. Accordingly, the State government has prepared the Tamil Nadu Admission to MBBS and BDS Courses Bill, 2017, and it was introduced and unanimously passed in the Legislative Assembly on February 1, 2017. It awaits assent of the President of India under Article 254 (2) of the Constitution. The State further said that the Bill sent by the Government of Tamil Nadu has not been rejected by Government of India so far.
In such a situation, the government has no other alternative but to take a policy decision in the said matter since it is duty-bound to protect the interests of a vast majority of State board students, who have studied in 6,877 schools and do not have access to CBSE schools that are only 268 in number.

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