Another attack on special status of J&K

Now Soura Hospital loses ‘powers’ to fill up seats

In occupied Kashmir, a yet another attack on special status of Jammu and Kashmir, the Indian authorities have allowed filling up of super-specialty medical seats at Soura Institute of Medical Sciences in Srinagar through a common counseling under National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET).
The tertiary-care of the Soura Hospital is a deemed university and has 26 positions of DMs/MCHs in its 12 different faculties. Until last year, the institute would itself conduct examinations for filling up these seats. However, from this year onwards, the selection process has been allowed under the NEET, implying that students from across India are eligible for admission at the institute.
While the Law department of the territory insisted that super-specialty courses at Soura Medical Institute didn’t fall under NEET, the authorities at the institute said they are bound to follow Medical Council of India (MCI) rules.
The institute has already started the common counseling for filling up the seats on the basis of merit list finalised under NEET from among students across different Indian states. Until Monday last, of 22 candidates selected, 14 are non-state subjects and only eight are Kashmiris. The remaining seats are yet to be filled.
The move has infuriated the medical fraternity which sees the extension of NEET to Soura Institute as an attack on the special status of Jammu and Kashmir. The issue came into limelight after Andhra Pradesh and Telangana challenged the common counseling under NEET in the Hyderabad High Court which ruled in favour of the petitioners on August 18.
The Hyderabad court, while staying the common counseling for the medical colleges of the twin states, upheld that admission into professional courses in the states are governed by the Presidential Order issued under Article 371D of the Indian Constitution, according to reports in Indian media.
A senior official in the Law Department said that Andhra Pradesh and Telangana acted in time to ensure that the super-specialty medicine seats in their colleges don’t fall under NEET. “We could have done the same. We have Article 370 and Article 35A and we could have invoked these laws to stop extension of the NEET to super specialty medicine seats,” he said. But it seems that the authorities at the Soura Institute have taken the issue lightly, he added.—KMS

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