Madras HC Directs Government to Avoid Overcrowding by Setting Up New Medical Colleges When Existing Colleges Serve the Purpose
Madras High Court in K.R. Vasudevaa Vs. The State of Tamil Nadu — WP(MD).17263/2020, refused to include 11 new medical colleges pending the final approval of the National Medical Commission to participate in the ongoing counselling of MBBS/BDS admissions for the academic year 2020-21 and directed the State government and the NMC to avoid setting up of new medical colleges when existing colleges were serving the purpose.
The two-judge bench of Hon’ble Justice N. Kirubakaran and Justice B. Pugalendhi held:
“Once a medical college is established, it is not only for teaching the medical students but also for treating the people residing in that area. Crowding medical colleges in one area will not help the people at large. Therefore, the National Medical Commission has to see that the approval is granted only to the applicants who would establish medical colleges in the area where there is no medical college at all, thereby the treatment facilities in the unserved area would be improved.
The court added:
“Therefore, this Court hopes that in future, the State Government as well as the National Medical Commission would not give approval for any medical college in and around Chennai or in any other city which has already got enough medical colleges like Pondicherry”
The petitioner was a student belonging to Most Backward Class (MBC) and had scored 521 marks out of 720 in the NEET exam for the academic year 2020-21. The Chief Minister of the State in his press release No.645 dated 07.09.2020 had published a policy decision of the Government whereby 11 new medical colleges were to be inaugurated in the State of Tamil Nadu. These colleges together would add 1650 new seats and the new quota of 7.5% given to students of Government Schools would mean that 124 new seats will be available for them providing huge relief. However, the respondents had not included the new colleges in the counselling process for the academic year 2020-21, therefore this writ was filed.
The respondent submitted that the Government of India had given initial approval to the new medical colleges in the State of Tamil Nadu under a centrally sponsored scheme with a funding pattern of 60:40. This initial approval however was given after the cutoff date of application for the establishment of a new medical college for the academic year 2020-21. Though Deans to the colleges had been appointed and every step was taken for making the colleges operational, the construction work was still underway and hence classes could not be commenced. Besides, the NMC would inspect the completed infrastructure and give its final approval only after such inspection. Pending such final approval, the colleges cannot be included in the counselling process.
The court directed the respondent to take appropriate steps so that the colleges would be operational at least from the academic year 2021-22, and held:
“Though the prayer sought for by the Petitioner is premature, the respondents are directed to take appropriate steps viz., to create infrastructures like construction of buildings, including labs and erection of equipments at the earliest, so that appropriate approval would be granted by the National Medical Commission on inspection and atleast from the academic year 2021-2022, the newly inaugurated 11 Medical colleges would start function, with an annual intake of 150 M.B.B.S., seats each.”
The court disposed of the petition with the abovementioned directions.
Vaibhav Karadale | Research Intern | EduLegaL
Swapna Iyer | Legal Editor | EduLegaL