The Odisha High Court on Thursday completed hearing and reserved its verdict on a petition filed challenging the admissions of in-service candidates to Medical PG courses in all government teaching hospitals of the State for the year 2023-14.

The High Court had earlier admitting the petitions filed by Dr. Biswajit Kar and four others granted a stay on the admissions in June this year. Hearing the counsel for the petitioners and the State government, a Division bench of Chief Justice C. Nagappan and Justice Indrajit Mohanti reserved the verdict on the day.

It may be mentioned here that MBBS degree holders having put in five continuous years of service in rural, tribal, and difficult terrains were given preferences for admissions into PG courses as in-service candidates and the remaining were treated as direct candidates. However, the State Health and Family Welfare Department in May this year came out with a notification saying any candidate having completed three years of continuous service and otherwise considered eligible by the selection committee, shall be allowed for admission to PG courses as in-service candidate.

Out of 260 seats for PG courses in all the three government teaching hospitals in the State, 87 seats are reserved for in-service candidates and the remaining will be filled by the direct candidates having less than three years of services.

The petitioner and four other doctors, who have already completed five years of services in rural areas and had appeared for the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test, moved the High Court challenging the May 27, 2013, notification of the government.

Praying to quash the notification, the petitioners had pointed out that reducing the in-service period to three years would adversely affect them as they had already put in five years of service in rural areas.