Qualifying marks for SC, ST candidates to be lowered
By P. Sunderarajan
NEW DELHI, AUG. 13. Bowing to political pressure, particularly from Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, the Union Health Ministry has agreed to reduce the minimum qualifying marks for SC,ST candidates seeking admission to post-graduate medical courses from 50 per cent to 40 per cent.
Disclosing this, sources in the Ministry said the papers relating to the decision have been sent to the Law Ministry for the issue of the necessary notification. The relaxation would be applicable to all post-graduate courses, except super-specialities, they added.
Only eight months ago, in December last year, the Medical Council of India (MCI) had for the first time fixed the minimum qualifying marks for admission to post-graduate medical courses as a follow-up to a Supreme Court judgment. Until then, such a benchmark was available for only under-graduate courses.
As per the December 2000 regulation, the qualifying mark was set at 50 per cent uniformly for both the SC,ST candidates and the others, on the ground that the positive discrimination was provided for at the time of admission to the under-graduate courses - 40 per cent for SC,ST candidates and 50 per cent for the rest, and it would not be proper to do so at the post- graduate level again.
The regulation was, however, not to the liking of a section of the political set-up. The Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister, Mr. Digvijay Singh, in particular, had been representing for a review.
The decision to relax the regulation was taken at a high-level meeting convened here recently by the Union Health Minister, Dr. C.P. Thakur, which was attended, among others, by MCI representatives.