‘No need for entrance test as there were more seats than aspirants’

In what came as relief to nearly 1,000 students pursuing BDS course in private colleges, the High Court of Karnataka on Thursday declared as “valid” their admission by the managements without conducting an entrance test, while filling up vacant seats during 2012–13.

The court held that there was no need to hold an entrance test as the number of seats available in the BDS course was much higher than the number of aspirants. However, when the aspirants are more than the number of available seats then admission should be through an entrance test and the guidelines issued by the State.

Justice Anand Byrareddy passed the order, while allowing a batch of petitions, filed by students Srinija Dasari and others, as well as managements of private dental colleges.

Orders questioned

The petitioners had questioned the June 10 and 12, 2013 orders of the Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences (RGHUS) in refusing to approve admission of the students stating that the colleges had admitted them without determining their merit by holding an entrance test. The RGUHS had cited the Supreme Court’s verdict in the Priya Gupta case to deny approval. However, the colleges had contended that the admissions to fill the vacant seats would have to be made after filling seats through the Common Entrance Test, conducted by the Karnataka Examinations Authority, for the government quota seats and the Consortium of Medical, Engineering and Dental Colleges in Karnataka (COMEDK) for management quota seats. The colleges claimed that the RGUHS misunderstood the apex court’s verdict.

‘Seats remained vacant’

The court also noted that a huge number of seats remained vacant even after admission of students to first year BDS course through these two streams every year. While 31 per cent to 68 per cent of seats under the government quota remained vacant after final round of counselling during 2007–08, the vacancy ranged from 68 per cent to 95 per cent after admission through COMEDK counselling during the same period.

Justice Byrareddy said the RGUHS appeared to have taken a “knee-jerk” decision as contended by the petitioner at a belated point when the students were about to write examinations from June 21, 2013.

The court permitted the students to continue the course, while quashing the RGUSH’s order.