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Madras HC upholds 7.5% horizontal reservation for govt school students in NEET admissions

The high court also directed the state government to review the quota in five years, as was suggested by an expert committee that recommended the quota for government school students in medical admissions.

Madras HC upholds 7.5 per cent quota for govt school students in Tamil Nadu. File.

The Madras High Court upheld the 7.5 per cent reservation announced by the previous AIADMK regime for Tamil Nadu government school students clearing NEET for admissions to undergraduate medical courses. The order was on a batch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the quota.

The high court also directed the state government to review the quota in five years, as was suggested by an expert committee that recommended the quota for government school students in medical admissions.

The first bench of Chief Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari and Justice D Bharatha Chakravarthy said the government, besides reviewing the quota after five years, should also “take steps to improve the standard of education in government schools so that the reservation may not be further extended beyond five years.”

The state government, during the hearing, said the quota was meant to bridge the gap between the rural-urban and rich-poor sections in medical admissions and that the state has is empowered and competent enough to bring in such institutional preferences.

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Explained

Distributing benefits of quota

In October 2020, the state government issued an executive order assuring 7.5 per cent horizontal reservation for government school students in medical admissions. The government had chosen the executive route as there was no immediate assent from the Governor for more than a month after the Assembly had passed the bill unanimously.

Under the Government Schools Bill, 2020, a 7.5 per cent horizontal quota is provided for government school students who qualify in NEET for admissions to undergraduate medical courses such as Undergraduate Courses in Medicine, Dentistry, Indian Medicine, and Homeopathy. While those who studied from classes 6 to 12 in the government schools are eligible for the quota.

However, the classification of ‘government school’ is not applicable for government-aided schools but all other government-run schools such as panchayat union schools, Adi-Dravidar welfare schools, municipal, corporation and tribal welfare schools.

First published on: 07-04-2022 at 11:22:20 am
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