Promoting the concept of ‘One Maharashtra, One Merit’, state Medical Education Minister Amit Deshmukh on Tuesday repealed the 70:30 regional quota in admissions to medical courses. The admissions would now be based on the results of students who have appeared for the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), Deshmukh said in the state Assembly.
“Admissions to health science degree courses in the state were earlier conducted on the basis of 70 per cent regional quota and 30 per cent state-level quota. However, now that the 70:30 regional quota system has been revoked, the medical admission process will be based on ‘One Maharashtra, One Merit’ formula,” the minister said. A notification has been issued to change the admission rules for medical courses on September 4.
Under the 70:30 formula, 70 per cent seats were reserved in the colleges for students belonging to a particular division, while the remaining 30 per cent seats were available for candidates from the other parts of the state. However, as the number of medical colleges in Marathwada and Vidarbha regions is fewer as compared to the rest of Maharashtra, students from these two regions suffered during admissions in medical colleges.
Students and parents in the state had since long been demanding the scrapping of the contentious formula for admissions in medical courses. On Tuesday, the Maharashtra Students Welfare Association tweeted, “Due to this decision, many more students seeking to pursue medical education will be benefitted.”
Meanwhile, at least two medical students appearing for their final-year undergraduate exams, conducted by the Maharashtra University of Health Sciences (MUHS), have tested positive for Covid-19. While student bodies have urged the university to allow affected students to take a retest, the officials have refused to comment.
Theory exams for around 9,500 students began Tuesday and are slated to go on till October 3 across 270 centres set up across the state.
“We saw an attendance of 95 per cent. Students who have been unable to appear for the exams can take the winter exams that are likely to be conducted in November-December,” MUHS controller of examination Dr Ajit Pathak said.
However, students say it would lead to a loss of time. “If the exams are conducted in November-December, the results will be declared only by March. The students will not be able to sign up for internships till then and it will lead to a loss of their time. Had the colleges followed protocols regarding the quarantine of students, this situation would not have occurred. Many colleges began the exams today after students reported yesterday. MUHS is also silent on whether Covid-19 positive students will be compensated, as announced by it earlier,” Dr Nilesh Jadhav, president of Medical Students Welfare Association, said.
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