Student association AIIMS moves Supreme Court to find list of JIPMER models for institutional preference in PG admissions

The Supreme Court issued a notice on Monday in the written petition filed by the AIIMS Student Association challenging the existing system of institutional preference for postgraduate admissions into AIIMS.

a bench of Judges L Nageswara Rao and BRGavai understood Senior Counsel Arvind Datar appearing for the petitioners and ordered that the case be heard on 01.10.2022 with a similar petition challenging the institutional preference system.

Under the existing system, based on Supreme Court rulings in AIIMS Students Union v AIIMS ((2002) 1 CSC 428) and Saurabh Chaudri and Ors v. Union of India, (2003) 11 SCC 146, AIIMS MBBS students are eligible for preference in 50% of postgraduate places. This is subject to their compliance with certain criteria.

The petitioners argued that at the time places are allocated by institutional preference, places in all popular courses are filled, so AIIMS students do not opt ​​for admission by institutional preference. The petition maintains that, according to RTI’s response between 2017 and 2021, only 50 AIIMS students had received an institutional preference. The petitioners also prayed that the roster system followed by JIPMER would also be applied to AIIMS postgraduate admissions. In the list system, 19 of the first 100 seats are allocated for admission by institutional reservation. According to the petitioners, this ensures that JIPMER students can be admitted to popular clinical courses.

The petitioners further argued that while the existing system is constitutionally valid as it is based on the Court’s judgment in AIIMS Students Union (2001), a lot has changed since then – the number of AIIMS and the number of postgraduate places have increased; a number of new categories of reserves – OBC, EWS, PWD, etc. have been introduced since the delivery of the judgment.

In AIIMS student union case (2001) the Court annulled the then institutional reserve system at AIIMS. However, the Court clarified that AIIMS students would be eligible for the preference against 25% of the total seats provided they meet certain conditions. In addition, in Saurabh Chaudri and Ors v Indian Union, (2003), the Court amended the judgment rendered in the AIIMS Students Union case to conclude that AIIMS students would be entitled to a preference against 50% of the seats.

Senior Counsel Arvind Datar appearing for the applicants argued that the Supreme Court’s judgments in the Saurabh Chaudri case “were becoming meaningless”. He further argued that AIIMS should follow the roster system adopted by JIPMER since both AIIMS and JIPMER are institutes of national importance.

He added that “the AIIMS Academic Committee has declared that the model followed by JIPMER is the correct method.

Judge Rao expressed the court’s reservation on issuing a mandamus in the cases, even though the attorney’s arguments were well founded. “We cannot order the government to do this or that in politics,” he said.

The bench ordered that the case be registered on 01.10.2022 with a similar case in written petition 1329/2021 which challenges the institutional preference system.

The petition was written by Lawyer Pranjal Kishore and filed by Lawyer on Record Aditya Jain.

Case name: AIIMS Student Association v Union of India WP (c) No. 1238/2021

Andrew B. Reiter