NEET DOMICILE REGULATIONS: STATELESS STUDENTS, HEARTLESS STATES
The main purpose of introducing the National Level Eligibility test (NEET) at the national level was to have a principle of one-nation-one-examination. The main purpose was to save the precious time, money and energy of the students to seek admission outside their own state.
If we look at the conditions of the domicile policies for admission in the medical and dental colleges, there are around 85% seats of the total seats come under the “state quota” and remaining 15% are open for all the students applying for admission form any other state of the country. It means that the seats which come under the state quota are reserved for the applicants who belong to the state in which the college is located. However, it is noted that many states have different domicile policies for the candidates which is creating confusion for the students.
In our country every state has its own rules and regulations so that the non-local may not acquire the seat in the medical or dental college of their state. The difference in rules and regulations of the states can be explained in such way that one state requires only 10th and 12th class marksheet of the students. However, Gujarat also demands that the applicant must be residing in the state for minimum of 10 years.
There are many candidates who faced problem due to this domicile policy in Gujarat. Some shared their experiences which are given below:
- Palak Mittal who is a resident of Gandhinagar says that “I am living in Gandhinagar for around 8 years. I have completed my class 10th and 12th in Gujarat only. I also appeared for NEET exam for MBBS. But due to the domicile policy of the state she will not et admission in the state”
This was the domicile policy of Gujarat. But we should also know about the domicile policy of other states also:
- Karnataka demands student’s parents to be a domicile of the state to get the admission.
- In Delhi, the requirement is that the student must have completed his or her class12th education from there or one who holds the domicile certificate can apply for admission
- West Bengal have quite different policy as the student have to fil any one of the 2 forms that are A or B. Those who are living in West Bengal for 10 years have to Domicile A and those who have been living outside West Bengal for 10 years but his or her parents hold permanent address in West Bengal.
- Andhra Pradesh have the domicile policy that the students should have resided in the state for 7 consecutive year and have completed class 12 from the state.
- Assam have a domicile policy where the students should have resided in the state for minimum of 20 years and must have completed class 7th to 12th in the state.
- Maharashtra have a domicile policy where the student should have completed class 10th to 12th form the state.
- Punjab have domicile policy that student should have completed class 10th and 12th from the state or if he has studied outside the state then in such case any one of the parents should have lived in state for minimum 5 years.
- Rajasthan have domicile policy that the students should have completed class 10th and 12th from the state. If the student has studied outside the state then one of the parents should have lived in the state for minimum 10 years and student have studied in the state for 5 years.
- Tamil Nadu have a domicile policy where the student has studied class 10th and 12th from the state. If the student has studied class 10th to 12th outside the state then his parents should have lived in the state for consecutive 5 years.
- Telangana have a domicile policy that the students should have resided in the state for consecutive 7 years and must has completed class 12th from the state.
- Uttar Pradesh have a domicile policy where the student should have completed class 10th and 12th from the state. If he or she have completed class 10th and 12th outside the state then they need to produce the domicile certificate of Uttar Pradesh.
LACK OF CLARITY:
All the states keep on making changes in the domicile rules of the NEET admissions from year to year as per the feedback they receive from various departments in every academic year. But, these continuous changes in the rules and regulations creates problems for the students and their parents who have to move form one state to another in search of admission.
It is already been seen that due to different domicile policies in the different states problems are created every year when it comes to merit-based admission to the state quota. This problem has already been addressed by Dr. Vedprakash Mishra, a former Chairman of the Medical Council of India’s Academic Council.
The confusion between the domicile policies of different states can be seen clearly. Like in Punjab, after the result was announced the medical education department said that only those students are eligible for admission who have domicile of the state. However, this announcement was in contradiction with statement made earlier which said that the student who completed their class 10th, 11th and 12th from Punjab can apply for admission to medical colleges for the MBBS courses.
The same problem is faced by the students in Gujarat where the eligibility criteria of admission to the medical colleges was that the students must have passed class 10th and 12th from Gujarat. It is also added with rule 4(1)(A) seeking a candidate to be a domicile of Gujarat. Even Gujarat High Court has also been approached by the students and parents as they are facing lots of confusion during the admission process. Later on, the Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel has made it clear that domicile certificate is not to be shown by the students who have completed their class 10th and 12th in Gujarat. Domicile certificate is to be produced by those students who were born outside Gujarat and completed their class 10th and 12th from state and parents are living in Gujarat.
NEET examination has always been in controversies since it came into existence. Many students have already challenged the domicile laws in the various high courts. Maharashtra medical admission rule has already been upheld by the Bombay High Court. The rule says that student should have studied class 10th and 12th from the state and also produce the domicile certificate are eligible for the 85% of state quota. However, later on the supreme court also upheld the High Court ruling in order to protect the interests of local students. The same upheld of the state government ruling has been done by Haryana High Court and Madras High Court.
WHY DO THE STATE PROTECT SEATS?
Many state governments think that they have the responsibility to protect the rights and interests of their local students. They fear that the students who come from the other states may leave the state after completing their graduation which will lead to scarcity of doctors. So, many state governments have already argued in favour of the domicile policies saying that the medical seats are limited. We can take example of Tamil Nadu which have introduced a new rule which says that to take admission to any medical college in the state, the student and parents, must have been resident of the state for 5 years.
THE WAY FORWARD
There are many cases where the parents face problem in getting their children admitted to medical college. We can take example of Shrikant Mane, father of Rahul Mane says that “we are really confused that from which state our child belongs? How can he not be from Maharashtra? We cannot leave our job and get settled in our Domicile state? Who will assure us a job over there?
So, it is need of the hour that the state should provide seats to the deserving students. There should be well structured plan which is to be made with support of the central government so that the students who are sincere and deserving should not face problem in getting admission to the medical colleges.
Dr. Vedprakash Mishra, Former Chairman, Academic Council, Medical Council of India
The admission to the higher education should strictly be done on the merit basis. There should not be any type of self-styled impositions and restrictions other than the one which are in the constitution itself. The concept of “all India Quota” is based on providing admission to the students, by not depending on the limits of geographical boundaries. But admission under the state quota will include the rule of domicile as mentioned by the state government.
So, the basic problem is the different domicile rules of the imposed by the different states. This create confusion for students and acts as a barrier on merit- based admission to the state quota. However, it is seen that the states are imposing the domicile rules just to protect the seats for the local students who will work in the state after completion of their studies. Central government should have same rules and regulations for all the states regarding the domicile certificate so that students do not face problem while taking admission into medical colleges. All the guidelines should abide by the principles of the constitution They would remain free form any kind of restrictions imposed by the state government regarding the domicile certificate.