The Bombay High Court recently granted relief to D.Y. Patil Medical College in Pune by directing the Medical Council of India (MCI) to consider the college’s request to convert postgraduate (PG) diploma seats into degree seats.
The college is a deemed-to-be university and its students have demanded more degree seats as PG diplomas will not help them much in advancing their careers. The management later resolved to surrender its diploma seats and in exchange secure degree seats for the academic year 2018-2019.
However, the MCI rejected the request on the ground that diploma seats had been denotified belatedly. The college challenged this stand and moved the High Court.
On April 3, 2017, the college applied to the Government of India (GoI), the Director General of Health Services, and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for surrendering the diploma seats and securing degree seats in return.
Pending the MCI’s consideration, on October 25, 2017, the college surrendered its diploma seats. However, on November 21, 2017, the GoI made it mandatory for the college to submit a copy of recognition. The GoI then denotified 12 diploma seats for 2017-2018, but the MCI did not create an equal number of degree seats.
On December 13, 2017, the college informed the MCI about the denotification and requested it to grant permission to the college to create an equal number of degree seats. On March 1, 2018, the college again wrote to the MCI. However, the body rejected its request again.
The college then maintained its stand that it had written to the GoI to denotify the diploma seats and convert them to degree seats. It said that in case of an administrative delay, the college should not be made to suffer. It contended that while on the one hand the government has denotified the surrendered diploma seats, on the other hand the MCI has refused to increase the number of degree seats.
A Division Bench of Justices B.R. Gavai and D.S. Naidu then directed the board of governors and the MCI to consider the college’s applications without taking any timeline into consideration.