Malappuram: The Kerala High Court has come to the aid of a physically challenged candidate who was denied admission to the MBBS course despite being allotted a seat in a medical college after securing a high rank in the all-important National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET).
P Aswathy, who belongs to Kakkara locality of Karuvarakundu in Malappuram district, had overcome cerebral palsy to secure 556th rank in the NEET special category and was allotted an MBBS seat in the Government Medical College, Manjeri. She was subsequently asked to appear before the medical board at the Thiruvananthapuram Medical College for the fitness examination.
However, the medical board certified that Aswathy was unfit to pursue a medical or dental course as her right hand lacked the required mobility.
As per the report of the medical board, Aswathy had 63.3 per cent disability. Pointing out the rule which said candidates having disability levels below 80 per cent could gain admission to MBBS under the special category, Aswathy approached the Kerala High Court.
"First I thought I will come back home, then I started thinking about it. Why should I give up in the last lap? I have sailed through my hardships and reached till here not to give up. I repeated one year after my 12th standard just to achieve what I got now. No one anticipated what followed," Aswathy narrated her fight.
Ruling in Aswathy’s favour, the court observed that as the deadline for admission to the MBBS course ends on Tuesday it was not possible for her to seek the opinion of another medical board. Considering the situation, the court directed the Principal of Manjeri Medical College to admit Aswathy for the MBBS course.
"Either the Medical Council should specify such criteria before exams or mention them in the prospectus. Studying hard, clearing exams and then rejecting it during the allotment is quite depressing. I might not be the only student to face such an issue. So such things should be made clear," she added.
"I felt really relieved when I was finally allowed to study. I wish to do my higher studies in General Medicine," Aswathy said as she is all set to join Manjeri Medical College on Tuesday.