The Supreme Court on Friday asked Centre to inform about the schedule for counseling to fill up Master of Dental Surgery (MDS) seats after the MDS eligibility test was conducted in December last year.

With six months gone and nearly 30,000 MDS aspirants on the verge of losing a precious year, the bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah sought a response from the Centre by July 12.

The Court was hearing a petition filed by nine MDS aspirants who had filed repeated pleas under the Right to Information (RTI) Act but got no response from the Centre or the Medical Counseling Committee under the Directorate General of Health Services.

Senior advocate Vikas Singh appeared for the petitioners in the top court and argued that six months have already gone by since the Master of Dental Surgery- National Eligibility Entrance Test (MDS-NEET) was conducted on December 16. Around 30,000 dental graduates appeared for this examination conducted every year for admission to over 6,500 MDS seats in the country.

The results of the examination were announced on December 31, 2020 but the counseling for the seats has not been conducted till date. The petition drafted by advocate Tanvi Dubey said that every year, MDS counseling took place by March as academic session begins in May.

Under RTI, when the petitioners wished to know the reason why counseling was held up, the response by the appropriate authority said that a proposal for conducting separate counseling for the allotment of MDS seats is under consideration with the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare and after consultation with the Dental Council of India, the final outcome shall be available on the official website of Medical Counseling Committee.

Singh pointed out that on May 3, Prime Minister Narendra Modi postponed post graduate medical admissions till end of August and assured all those doctors on COVID duty will be given a month to prepare for their PG exams. According to petitioners, the Government intends to hold counseling for post graduate medical and dental courses together.

The top court said, “You are completely different from PG medical students as they are on COVID duty unlike you.” The Court issued notice to the Medical Counseling Committee, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Dental Council of India and National Board of Examinations to respond to the petition by the next date of hearing.

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