Gujarat high court on Monday asked the Centre to take a decision on the state government's representation seeking relaxation in percentage of marks to be obtained in Gujarat Common Entrance Test (GUJCET) for students belonging to the Scheduled Tribe category.
A bench of Chief Justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya and Justice J B Pardiwala has asked the central government to decide Gujarat government's request and inform about its decision to the State within a week's time. This direction has been passed on a PIL filed by an NGO - Samast Adivasi Samaj through advocate Jigar Raval.
The organization filed the PIL seeking HC directions to the Centre and the MCI to reduce the ratio of marks to be scored in GUJCET for admission in medicine and dental courses for tribal students. The PIL contended that as per the present calculation for admission in medicine courses, 60% of marks obtained in board exams and 40% of GUJCET are considered.
The PIL further claimed that local students, especially tribal students that come from far interior areas, are not trained to take GUJCET exam and hence then tend to score less marks in GUJCET. Therefore, tribal students find it difficult to make it to medicine courses and the reserved seats remain vacant. Such vacant seats are later allotted to general category, finally resulting in loss for the tribal students for which the protection is meant. Last year, of 590 reserved seats for scheduled tribe candidates, 168 seats could not be filled with students from this category in MBBS and BDS courses. The vacant seats were later converted to general category.
The petitioner also submitted that if the ratio of marks to be calculated should be changed by reducing the GUJCET marks by 30, the quota for ST category can be filled completely. Advocate Raval contended that the state government has also agreed for granting such relaxation and it has also written to the concerned authorities in the Centre.