Uphold Rule 17, Don’t Ruin Our Careers: Students to BOPEE

Dental students protesting in this File Photo.

"The Rule 17 of the Reservation Rules is still applicable and the authorities have made recent selections based on the rule" - Shafiq Raina, Chairman BOPEE

Srinagar: A group of Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) students from Government Dental Colleges of Srinagar and Jammu Saturday alleged that the authorities from J&K Board of Professional Entrance Examination (BOPEE) were ruining their career by illegally revoking the benefits of Rule-17 of the Reservation Rules, 2005.

The aspirants applying for Master of Dental Surgery (MDS) courses (both clinical and non-clinical courses) in the twin GDCs of the erstwhile state castigated the BOPEE authorities for ceasing the benefits of Rule 17 for their admission during the phase-1 counselling session.

“We’re four students who deserve the benefits of Rule 17 but during the counselling session conducted on Sunday, the examination controller and BOPEE secretary clearly said that Rule 17 is no longer applicable,” Dr. Sameer Kambay, one of the students, told Kashmir Observer.

“Two of our colleagues were given non-clinical courses. They clearly deserved admission in the clinical course based on their merit and preferences.”

Pertinently, the unamended Rule 17 of the Reservation Rules clearly states that a reserved category candidate, if selected against the open merit seat, may be considered for allotment of discipline/stream/college allocable to him in his respective category on the basis of his merit and preference.

As per the rule, four seats are meant for Residents of Backward Area (RBA) category and one seat for the Children of Defense Personnel (CDP) category among the 19 category seats which have to be mandatory filled, even if someone from that category may feature in 21 open merit list. But apparently the BOPEE hasn’t allocated these seats to the deserving candidates.

“I personally come under the CDP category but BOPEE doesn’t recognize me in that category,” Dr. Ubran Bhatt, one among the four aggrieved students, told Kashmir Observer. “Isn’t this gross violation of the Reservation Rules?”

If BOPEE fails to sort this issue, Dr. Ubran said, his whole career would just end in a flash of a second.

However, refuting these allegations, Shafiq Raina, Chairman BOPEE, told Kashmir Observer that the Rule 17 of the Reservation Rules is still applicable and the authorities have made selections of the deserving candidates on the same.

“No one has the authority to cancel benefits of this rule on their own,” Shafiq said. “These students are not satisfied with the courses offered to them and now they’re spreading false rumors against BOPEE.”

But Dr. Sameer Kambay, the aggrieved student, said BOPEE has put the careers of four students at stake.

“If the brochure clearly states that Rule 17 is still applicable, then why are we being denied of our rights,” he asked.

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Zaid Bin Shabir

Zaid Bin Shabir is a special correspondent at Kashmir Observer. He tweets @Zaidbinshabir

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