“Hearing the writ petition filed by tribal students and their guardians, the high court’s Agartala bench Justice Utpalendu Bikash Saha said that the MCI (Medical Council of India) had issued guidelines, setting the minimum score of 40 percent in science subjects in entrance examination for admission to medical colleges,” Assistant Solicitor General Pijush Kanti Biswas told reporters.
According to the MCI guidelines, a general category MBBS aspirants have to secure at least 50 percent marks in both Class 12 and the medical entrance examination. The cut-off marks for tribal and Scheduled Castes (SC) students is 40 percent.
Biswas told the court that in a cut-off marks violation case in Gujarat, the Supreme Court in its direction in March this year asked all concerned not to violate the MCI guidelines for admissions to medical colleges across the country.
The Tripura government and all opposition political parties have been requesting the central government and the MCI to further relax medical admissions eligibility criteria for northeast’s tribal students.
“Both the centre and the MCI are yet to communicate their decisions on more cut-off marks relaxations for the tribal and the Scheduled Castes students seeking admission to MBBS courses,” Tripura’s Health and Education Minister Tapan Chakraborty told reporters.
He said the relaxation will facilitate backward community students to obtain professional education.
Besides Chakraborty, Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar and opposition Congress leader Ratan Lal Nath have written separate letters to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad and MCI chairman K.K. Talwar on the issue.
In all, 29 MBBS seats are lying vacant in the government-run medical college in Agartala and outside the state (Tripura quota) for tribal and SC students because no student secured the minimum qualifying marks in the entrance examination.