NEW DELHI: In an incentive to doctors serving in rural areas, the Supreme Court on Tuesday,granted them benefits of additional marks in admission to various Post-Graduate (PG) courses.
A bench headed by Chief Justice T S Thakur, held that incentive marks of up to 30 per cent of total marks would be awarded to eligible in-service doctors in admission tests for PG Medical courses, if they served in rural areas.
The court upheld the Allahabad High Court judgement which had quashed the Uttar Pradesh government order that sought to provide 30 per cent quota in admissions to post-graduate medical courses to doctors who have served in rural areas. The judgement came on a batch of petitions including those filed against the HC verdict.
The apex court said quota for admissions in medical PG courses was not allowed under any Act or regulation. However, incentive marking could be given to those government doctors to promote care in rural areas.
The court in its verdict stated it was conscious of the fact that the verdict would affect candidates whose applications had already been processed for admissions in the 2016-2017 PG courses.
“The State governments across the country are not in a position to provide health care facilities in remote areas for want of doctors. In fact, there is a proposal to make one year rural service mandatory for MBBS students to apply for admission to post graduate courses. The plan has been kept on hold, as was stated before the Rajya Sabha. The provision in the form for granting weightage of marks, therefore, was to give incentive to in-service candidates and to attract more graduates to join as Medical Officers in the State healthcare sector. To determine the academic merit of candidates, merely securing high marks in the NEET is not enough,” the judgement said.
“The academic merit of the candidate must also reckon the services rendered for the common or public good. Having served in rural and difficult areas of the state for one year or above, the incumbent, by rendering services for health care in rural areas, deserves incentive marks for determining merit,” the judgement ruled.