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States can set quota for govt doctors in PG, says Supreme Court

A five-judge Constitution Bench said states may provide for such a quota after requiring candidates to serve in rural, tribal, or hilly areas for five years.




States can provide reservation to serving government doctors in admissions to postgraduate medical courses, the Supreme Court ruled on Monday. A five-judge Constitution Bench said states may provide for such a quota after requiring candidates to serve in rural, tribal, or hilly areas for five years.

The detailed order was awaited until press time.

The Bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra added that the Medical Council of India (MCI) regulations which barred such reservation were discriminatory, arbitrary, and unconstitutional. The Bench said MCI is a creature of The Indian Medical Council Act, 1956, and has no power to make any reservations for in-service candidates seeking admission to PG degree courses.

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The court was answering a reference made to it by a three-judge Bench on a plea by the Tamil Nadu Medical Officers’ Association and others challenging Regulations 9(4) and (8) of the Post Graduate Medical Education Regulations, 2000, as framed by the MCI. They contended that giving such reservation benefits will encourage those working in government hospitals and in rural areas.

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