Common or single counselling for admissions in Post Graduate medical courses should be conducted from 2021, the apex court has asked the National Board of Examination (NBE). Medical PG Courses help graduate students to achieve degrees and diploma as well as seats in DNB (Diplomate of National Board) courses in the country.
The bench comprised of Justice UU Lalit and Dinesh Maheshwari. Plea asking NBE to conduct common counselling for this academic year was refused by the bench. NBE is the authority which conducts NEET (PG) examination all over the country. NBE was set up by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for improving the quality of medical education. ‘Diplomate of National Board’ is the title awarded by NBE which is considered equivalent to MD/MS in medical education.
“Process is at an advanced stage”
The decline of the plea for the current year counselling by Supreme Court was due to the fact that counselling and admissions process in postgraduate medical courses was already undergoing. The process is at a stage where few counselling sessions have been conducted.
In its judgement, the bench stated, “Since the petitioners have approached the court at a stage where the entire process has been undertaken and many candidates have been allocated various courses in the counselling, we do not deem it appropriate to pass any direction for the present year. However, going by the assertions made in the response filed by the Medical Council of India, we may observe that a common counselling or single online counselling in the coming years would definitely take care of any similar grievance.”
DNB is a three-year postgraduate or postdoctoral diploma where the training lasts for three years. Whereas, Fellow of National Board or FNB is a sub-speciality fellowship programme where the students undergo training of two years.
Noting down the submissions of the NBE, the apex court said that the authority to conduct common counselling from the next academic year was agreeable “in principle”.
The judgement of the apex court bench stated, “Consequently while refusing to pass any directions in so far as the present year is concerned, we hope that the authorities will be able to have common counselling for DNB PG seats along with all Post Graduate seats leading to Degrees and Diplomas… for coming years starting with NEET (PG) 2021 Examination.”
The Grievance of Medical Aspirants
The plea was filed by four medical students requesting Centre, NBE and other authorities to conduct a “single counselling” for allocation of seats under PG Medical and DNB Courses. Other PG Medical courses would include MD and MS.
In NEET (PG) 2020, Alapati Jyotsna and others had scored certain All India Ranks. But, in the counselling process, undertaken by the Medical Counselling Committee (MCC), they could not get the degree courses as per their preference.
While noting down the grievances of students, the Supreme Court said, “Their grievance is that it is only after the regular seats of Post Graduate Courses leading to Degree and Diploma are exhausted that the counselling for DNB courses is undertaken; those who have secured any seat in courses leading to Degrees and Diplomas are disentitled to lay any claim for DNB courses.”
According to the statement, once a candidate is allotted a seat under Degree and Diploma courses, he/she is not entitled to get a seat for DNB Courses. If NBE agrees with the proposal from next year, counselling for all the PG courses will be conducted under a single process and students will have the option to choose from all the courses.