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West Bengal MD admission only on merit this year

October 19, 2012

To the state health department, Kolkata was a “remote area” while Bardhaman, Howrah, Hooghly and North 24-Parganas, “developed urban areas” till the high court set aside the government notification on Thursday.

The government had issued the weird notification on November 23, 2011, zoning the government hospitals and health centres under the rural and urban categories in which Kolkata fell under the rural category.

The notification was made to streamline the government policy of giving weightage to hospital doctors applying for admission to the MD course.

According to the notification, doctors working at MR Bangur or Baghajatin hospitals were entitled to a weightage in the entrance exam as they came in the ‘rural category’ while those working in district hospitals such as Hooghly, Nadia or Burdwan got less weightage because the hospitals they worked with have been categorised as “urban and developed.”

Acting on a petition challenging the government notification, the division bench of Justice Subrokamal Mukherjee and Justice Harish Tandon set aside the government notification. The bench held that the notification was arbitrary because the government didn’t clarify the grounds of clubbing some hospitals under the rural and remote area category.

The high court directed the government to put the policy on hold for this year and complete the MD admission process, strictly on merit. However, the high court didn’t dispute the government decision to give weightage to doctors working in rural and remote areas during admission to the MD course.

The court asked the state health department to give effect to its policy only after it plugged loopholes in the notification.

The petitioners preferred an appeal in the division bench after the government notification was upheld by the single judge.

The notification was held as arbitrary because the govt didn’t clarify why some hospitals were classified under rural category.

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