The Maharashtra Common Entrance Test (CET) cell has cancelled admissions granted to postgraduate medical courses under the 10 per cent EWS (economically weaker sections) quota following the Supreme Court’s directive on Thursday.
The court has said the EWS quota can’t be applied to postgraduate medical courses in Maharashtra for the academic year 2019-20 as the admission process started long before the provision came into force. The SC order categorically stated that the 10 per cent EWS quota can’t be granted at the cost of others unless additional seats are created by Medical Council of India.
Anand Rayate, commissioner of the state’s CET cell, told The Indian Express that following the Supreme Court’s order, they will have to cancel the admissions granted under the EWS quota. These seats will now be made open to general category students, said Rayate.
“We are trying our best to complete the admission process and are working 24X7 for this purpose,” said Rayate, adding that the deadline for completing PG admissions was May 31.
The order came in response to a plea filed by students from the general category, who pointed out that the 10 per cent EWS quota would affect their share of seats unless additional seats were created in postgraduate medical courses. The students had challenged two circulars of the state government, which had enforced 10 per cent EWS quota in PG medical courses of the state.
Of the total 972 postgraduate (MD/MS) seats in government medical colleges in Maharashtra, only 233 are available for open category students. The remaining seats fall under various quotas such as those for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, EWS and Socially and Economically Backward Class (Maratha quota). As many as 2,024 students have qualified for PG courses from the open category.
PG admissions have already been delayed due to lack of clarity about how the Maratha and EWS quotas would be implemented this academic year. The admission process for PG medical dental courses began in the last week of February, almost a month after the results of the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test were declared on January 31.
This decision by the vacation bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Aniruddha Bose may provide some relief to students in the open general category, who have brought up this issue repeatedly and held candlelight marches to highlight their plight.
Another plea filed by open category medical students, challenging the ordinance that allowed the 16 per cent SEBC quota to come into force from this academic year for PG admissions, is also being heard by the apex court.
Sudha Shenoy, convenor of the Parent and Student Association for Medical Admissions, said the state government should not have rushed into issuing directives related to the EWS and SEBC quotas.
“… The impact of allowing an ordinance that brings in 16 per cent SEBC quota would also be applicable to undergraduate and graduate level courses,” she said.