MADURAI: The 7.5 per cent reservation has paved their way to higher medical education, and there is no debate about that. However, the next hurdle for these students is payment of their college fees. The Madurai Bench of Madras High Court on Friday made an appeal to political leaders, celebrities and philanthropists in the State to extend a helping hand to government school students, who have secured a medical seat through the 7.5 per cent reservation, in paying their college fees.
A two-member bench comprising Justices N Kirubakaran and B Pugalendhi observed that these students, who hail from poor financial background, will not be in a position to pay Rs 4 lakh per year towards their fees. They feared that the students, after managing to clear NEET and also securing the seat under government quota, might drop out of college being unable to pay the fees. So far, nearly 86 students from government schools have received admission to MBBS course and 33 students to BDS courses in private colleges under the reservation, the judges noted.
A senior advocate, Veera Kathiravan, had come forward to sponsor one such student, who is daughter of a daily wager from Thanjavur, the judges cited. The girl was allotted the seat in a self-financing college this year, but was unable to afford the fee. Appreciating the senior advocate, the judges encouraged other senior counsels, and public figures, including political leaders, celebrities and philanthropists, to sponsor similarly placed students.
Advocate General Vijay Narayan, appearing on behalf of the State government, also submitted that a decision will soon be taken on the issue. The bench was hearing a PIL, filed by one M Graham Bell of Tirunelveli, seeking re-fixation of fees in respect of self-financing medical colleges in the State, in view of the Covid-19 crisis. The government would be filing a counter affidavit on the PIL at the next hearing on November 27.
Meanwhile, the bench also reserved its order on a batch of petitions that sought direction to the government to extend benefits of the reservation to students who studied in government-aided schools too. The petitioners had submitted that as far as medical admissions are concerned, aided school students also suffered the same fate as government school students and that there should not be any discrimination between them.