Karnataka High Court quashes govt notification reducing seats to 15% for in-service quota in PG medical courses – The Hindu

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October 22, 2022 11:43 am | Updated 08:38 pm IST – Bengaluru
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With this order, the process of counselling for the admission to PG medical courses will have to begin anew after the government takes a decision on in-service quota and comes out with a fresh seat matrix. | Photo Credit: File photo
The High Court of Karnataka has quashed the notification issued by the State government reducing the number of seats from 30% to 15% of the total government quota seats for in-service candidates in the post-graduate medical courses for the year 2022-23.
However, the court gave liberty to the government to prescribe afresh the quota of seats for in-service candidates while taking into account relevant criteria and to fill up the seats.
The court also quashed the seat-matrix issued by the government on October 9 for admission to various PG medical courses.
Justice Alok Aradhe and Justice S. Vishwajith Shetty passed the order on October 21 while allowing the petitions filed by Swathi K.S. and others, who are serving as doctors in various primary health centres across the State under Department of Health and Family Welfare.
With this order, the process of counselling for the admission to PG courses will have to begin anew after the government takes a decision on in-service quota and comes out with a fresh seat matrix.
The petitioners had questioned the legality of the October 6 notification issued by the government to reduce the number of seats to 15%. They had contended that 392 seats were available to be chosen by 86 eligible candidates last year as 30% of the total government quota seats were earmarked for service when compared to the availability of only 206 seats for the 113 eligible candidates this year.
Meanwhile, the government has contended that decision to reduce the quota of seats for in-service candidates to 15% was taken after noticing that number of seats, earmarked at 30%, was much more than the number of in-service candidates eligible for admission this year.
However, the Bench pointed out that this argument was not reflected in the minutes of meeting, held on September 29, during which the decision to reduce the seats was taken.
Only reason reflected in the minutes of the meeting was to make available more number of seats for non in-service quota candidates in the first round of counselling itself so that more meritorious candidates could be benefited, the Bench noted while stating this reason was not relevant for a reduction in seats.
“The relevant criteria is the number of seats as well as the number of in-service candidates who have qualified to participate in the counselling. The in-service candidate need to have a better ratio of choice,” the Bench said.
The Bench observed that “the quota for in-service candidates has been reduced without assigning any cogent reasons and the decision appears to have been taken in a casual and cavalier manner. The relevant facts have not been considered by the Government while reducing the quota.”
The in-service candidate needs to have a better ratio of choice. For the preceding year, the ratio of choice for in-service candidates was better at 1:5 (i.e., one candidate had at the option of choosing one out of five available seats), which has been reduced this year to virtually 1:1, the bench observed.
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Karnataka / Bangalore / judiciary (system of justice) / medical colleges / medical education / medicine (education)
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