Special Correspondent

Petitioner alleges glaring "discrimination"

Students writing different qualifying examinations compete with one another Unfair advantage for students of 2005 batchEntrance exam is "the only solution" The Bench has posted the matter to June 20

CHENNAI: The existing practice of admitting students to MBBS/BDS courses on the basis of marks obtained in Plus Two as well as the common entrance examinations conducted by the State Government has been challenged in the Madras High Court.

In his petition, T. Nikkin of Jolarpettai in Vellore district sought to quash Clause 8(i)(ii) and (iv) of the prospectus for MBBS/BDS admissions for 2006-07 on the ground that they perpetuated "a glaring discrimination."

According to him, the system forced different sets of students having different qualifying examinations such as the State Board and the CBSE, besides students who wrote the State Board examination in 2005 and those who wrote it in 2006, to compete with one another.

"Between 2005 and 2006, the pattern was totally different and the syllabus was completely different," he said, adding that statistics showed that the 2005 batch of students were on a lenient pattern of syllabus and evaluation, compared to their 2006 counterparts.

Senior counsel K.M. Vijayan told the First Bench that the impugned clauses, which provided for determination of inter se merit by a combination of marks obtained from qualifying examination and the entrance test, created a situation of unfair advantage for students of 2005 over 2006 batch, and for State Board students over CBSE students.

Describing the method as being totally inconsistent with the regulations framed by the Medical Council of India (MCI), the petitioner said, "entrance examination alone can be the basis of admission to MBBS and BDS for the academic year 2006-07, which will satisfy the test of uniform evaluation."

According to him, any other criterion of determining inter se merit between students other than one single common entrance test would be exfacie discriminatory and violative of the principle of equality.

Besides seeking to restrain the authorities from admitting students for MBBS/BDS courses for the current academic year by including the marks obtained in the respective qualifying examination or any year along with the entrance examination conducted by the TNPCEE, the petitioner sought to quash the provisions that provided for such a selection scheme.

The Bench has posted the matter to June 20 for further proceedings.