The Supreme Court invalidated a condition given in the information bulletin for PGET 2018 issued by the government of Karnataka. The Supreme Court bench comprising of Justice Arun Mishra and Justice U U Lalit directed the Directorate of Medical Education and the Karnataka Examinations Authority (KEA) to alter and make the required changes for the examination. They have also been asked to re-publish the calendar of the upcoming events accordingly.
The KEA had come up with a state mandate which claimed the compulsion of “Karnataka origin” and 10 years of study in the state as qualification criteria. A similar condition in PGET-14 had been dealt with by the court in 2014. This condition aimed to refuse institutional preference to those students who had passed MBBS or BDS from institutions located in the state of Karnataka.
The Supreme Court referred to this past verdict to help them come to a decision. The present ruling helps students from outside the state to pursue post-graduate courses in medicine and dentistry in Karnataka. It was observed that the notification violated the constitutional Right to Equality given under Article 14.
Kriti Lakhina and 43 others had filed a petition in court against the condition of domicile given by the PGET 2018. These petitioners, having done their MBBS/BDS courses from Karnataka and cleared the NEET-PG 2018 examination, aspire to gain admission to post-graduate courses within the state itself.
This unconstitutional domicile condition was opposed by the petitioners while the government of Karnataka held its ground and gave reasons to support their argument.
The state government claimed that it was well within the rights of the state to formulate eligibility conditions and to give preference to candidates they deemed more likely to serve their own state public health system.
The court ruling in favor of the aspirants came as a big sigh of relief as the discriminatory qualification was dismissed. Dr. Sachidanand, Director of Medical Education Department, Karnataka, said, “We have convened a meeting of stakeholders on Thursday, and will soon issue a fresh notification.”