Adopt common counselling, rules Calcutta HC
Kolkata : All counselling in private medical colleges in management quota is to be conducted in a centralised manner and the state government will oversee the whole process. Justice Debangshu Basak of Calcutta High Court on Monday gave this ruling based on a Supreme Court order on 22 September.
The admission to private medical colleges for the management quota this year got mired in a controversy following complaints of exorbitantly high capitation fees being charged. The court held the candidates and institutional representatives will have to come together at the same venue for counselling, while any counselling not conducted by the state government is to be cancelled.
The day's order came following a petition moved by Sreyashi Ghosh and another petitioner alleging corruption in admission process in the management quota and demand for capitation fee in KPC Medical College. On 5 September, Justice Basak had set aside a panel of candidates on "first come first serve" basis by college authorities and held a panel be made on the basis of merit.
In an earlier order, Justice Basak had directed that a representative of the state government be present in the counselling process. But, it was alleged that in spite of his presence, a list of the candidates not conforming to the merit list was brought out by the college. Steep capitation fee is being demanded and the admission process in the management quota to the college is non-transparent, appearing for the petitioner, Anindya Lahiri submitted. This is leading to compromise of merit of the candidates as obtained from their list in the National Eligibility and Entrance Test (NEET).
The meritorious candidates are being left out if they cannot shell out steep capitation fees, it was submitted. This is in gross violation of the principle of transparency as the system is not commensurate with imparting medical education. The admission process and counsellng is conducted online in medical colleges in other parts of the country, it was submitted.
It is only in West Bengal that the candidates have to be physically present. The petitioners moved court in view of newspaper advertisements placed by agencies claiming that candidates will be able to secure admission if they pay a hefty sum along with tuition fees, it was submitted.
In such circumstances, the colleges call the parents and conduct separate interviews with them to secure the "price of admission", it was submitted. This process helps the college authorities to select candidates who can afford to cough up steep capitation fees. This has been a matter of concern all over the country.