The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Centre to consider its decision to not lower the cut-off marks for admissions to Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) while taking note that over 9000 seats are vacant. A bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and Hima Kohli also took note of the fact that the last date for BDS admissions has been extended to May 15 from April 11 and the Dental Council of India has recommended the Centre reduce the cut-off marks.
The bench said, “Since the last date of admission has been extended, having regards to the extent of vacant seats and decision of this court, it will be appropriate if the issue pertaining to percentile is reconsidered by the Central government afresh. We accordingly request the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to take a fresh look in terms of the provisions within a period of one week”.
The top court was hearing a PIL of aspiring dentists who had appeared in the NEET-UG examinations for conducting a fresh mop-up round counselling based on the reduced cut-off marks as recommended by the Dental Council to fill up the vacant seats in the colleges for the academic session of 2021-22.
Senior advocate PS Patwalia submitted that till date out of the 27,698 seats around 9000 are still vacant for the BDS courses and referred to earlier decisions of the government when it had lowered the cut-off marks including in 2019-20.
Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati submitted that a decision was taken on April 8 to not reduce the cut-off marks to which the bench said that at that time the last date of admission was April 11 but now it has been extended to May 15. The bench said that the government can consider the issue afresh as the date of admission has been extended and by taking into account the number of seats remaining vacant.