The Supreme Court today directed the Gujarat government to give 50 per cent reservation to the in-service candidates for admission to post-graduate medical diploma courses as per the regulations of the Medical Council of India. The apex court directed the state government to grant the reservation to these candidates in the second round of counselling, starting tomorrow for admissions in PG courses. The in-service medical officers are those who work for the government or public authority in remote rural and difficult areas. A bench, comprising Justices Dipak Misra and A M Khanwilkar, also asked the state government to define remote rural or difficult areas in which the in-service medical officers will be working. The Gujarat High Court had on May 5 dismissed the petition of in-service medical petitioners on the ground that it was not mandatory for the state government to follow the rules and regulations issued by the Medical Council of India, particularly the Post Graduate Medical Education Regulations, 2000. The medicos have challenged the state government order of granting only 25 per cent reservation to the in-service candidates for admission in PG medical diploma courses. The plea, filed by GMS Class II Medical Officers' Association before the apex court through advocate Ankit Shah, said the state government had issued a notification on April 21 by which the seats allocated to in-service candidates were restricted only to diploma courses and excluded degree courses for the current academic year without providing any reasonable reason. The petitioners said the issue involved a substantial question of law of public importance and its adjudication will have an impact on the large number of in-service medical officers working in rural areas in Gujarat. "As per regulation IV of the MCI Regulation, 2000, it is mandatory that while determining the merit of candidates who are in-service of Government/Public Authority, an incentive of 10 per cent of the marks obtained for each year of service in remote and/or difficult areas upto the maximum of 30 per cent of the marks obtained in NEET may be given by the Government/ Public Authority. "As per regulation VII of the MCI Regulations, 2000, it is mandatory for the state to reserve 50 per cent of the total seats of government medical college in Post Graduate Diploma Courses for medical officers in the government service, who has served at least 3 years in remote and/or difficult areas," their petition said. It said the state government had declined to adopt the mandate of incentive and 50 per cent reservation in accordance with the MCI Regulation, 2000 and the High Court has dismissed the petition affirming the said impugned action of the state government.
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