New Delhi, Sept 14 : The validity of the 40 per cent cut-off marks in entrance exam prescribed by the Medical Council of India (MCI) for Scheduled Tribe students seeking admission to medical and dental colleges would be examined by the Supreme Court.
A Bench of Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and P Sathasivam has sought a response from the MCI, Dental Council of India and the Kerala Government on the issue.
The issue was raised by some aggrieved students of Kerala, but a decision by the apex court is bound to have its bearing on the rest of the country.
Due to the 40 per cent cut-off marks, reserved seats meant for tribals either remained unfilled or were filled by Scheduled Caste students or General Category candidates, thus, frustrating the very purpose of reserving seats for the STs, according to the petitioners.
The petition claimed that ST students, who secured 90 per cent marks in the qualifying examination, were ranked behind the 10,000 top rankers in the entrance exam rendering them ineligible for admission as they had failed to achieve the 40 per cent cut-off marks.
"In the present academic year only two out of 51 seats allotted for the ST students in the medical stream were filled due to the cut-off marks being fixed at 40 per cent," claimed the petitioners.
Moreover, unlike other students, ST students did not have the means to afford high tuition fees to compete in the entrance exams for achieving the 40 per cent cut-off marks.
Hence, a reduction in the cut-off marks would enable them to successfully compete in the entrance exams.