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OBC, EWS get quotas in all-India seats of state medical, dental colleges

Terming it a 'landmark' decision, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the move will 'immensely' help thousands of youth every year.

MBBS seats in the country have increased by 56 per cent from 54,348 in 2014 to 84,649 in 2020. File.

The Centre announced on Thursday that it will provide 27 per cent reservation for OBCs and 10 per cent reservation for the economically weaker section (EWS) in the All India Quota (AIQ) scheme for undergraduate and postgraduate medical/dental courses in state medical and dental colleges from the current 2021-22 academic year onward.

Calling it “a historic and a landmark decision,” the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, in a statement, said the AIQ consists of 15 per cent of total available UG seats and 50 per cent of total available PG seats in government medical colleges. The reservation would apply to these seats under the AIQ for undergraduate and postgraduate medical/dental courses (MBBS/ MD/MS/Diploma/BDS/MDS) in state medical and dental colleges.

“This decision would benefit every year nearly 1,500 OBC students in MBBS and 2,500 OBC students in postgraduation, and also around 550 EWS students in MBBS and around 1,000 EWS students in postgraduation,” the Ministry said.

Announcing his government’s decision, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a Twitter post, said: “This will immensely help thousands of our youth every year get better opportunities and create a new paradigm of social justice in our country.”

The move was necessitated as the uniform 27per cent reservation for OBCs was not extended to the AIQ seats of state medical and dental colleges.

At a meeting on July 26, the Prime Minister had directed the Ministries concerned to “facilitate an effective solution to this long pending issue”.

The AIQ scheme was introduced in 1986 under the directions of the Supreme Court to provide domicile-free merit-based opportunities to students from any state to aspire to study in a good medical college in another state.

Explained

In the run-up to key UP elections

The ANNOUNCEMENT comes days after the reshuffle of the Union Council of Ministers that gave greater weight to OBCs. There’s a large OBC vote base in UP where elections are due next year —six other states too will vote.

According to the Ministry, there was no reservation in the AIQ scheme up to 2007 — that year, the Supreme Court introduced a reservation of 15 per cent for SCs and 7.5 per cent for STs in the AIQ scheme.

“When the Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Admission) Act became effective in 2007 providing for uniform 27 per cent reservation to OBCs, the same was implemented in all the Central Educational Institutions viz. Safdarjung Hospital, Lady Hardinge Medical College, Aligarh Muslim University and Banaras Hindu University, etc. However, this was not extended to the AIQ seats of State medical and dental colleges,” the Ministry said.

The government, it said, is “committed to providing due reservation both to the backward category as well as the EWS category”.

OBC students from across the country, it said, will now be able to take advantage of this reservation in the AIQ scheme to compete for seats in any state. Being a Central scheme, the Central list of OBCs shall be used for this reservation. Around 1,500 OBC students in MBBS and 2,500 in postgraduation will benefit through this reservation.

“In order to provide benefits to students belonging to the EWS category in admission to higher educational institutions, a Constitutional amendment was made in 2019 which enabled the provision of 10 per cent reservation for EWS category. Accordingly, seats in medical/dental colleges were increased over two years in 2019-20 and 2020-21 to accommodate this additional 10 per cent EWS reservation so that the total number of seats available for unreserved category do not reduce. In the AIQ seats, however, this benefit had not been extended so far,” the Ministry said.

“Therefore, along with the 27 per cent reservation for OBCs, 10 per cent reservation for EWS is also being extended in AIQ seats for all the undergraduate/postgraduate medical/dental courses from the current academic year 2021-22. This will benefit every year around more than 550 EWS students for MBBS and around 1,000 EWS students for PG medical courses,” it said.

“This decision is also in sync with the significant reforms carried out in the field of medical education since 2014,” the Ministry said.

“During the last six years, MBBS seats in the country have increased by 56 per cent from 54,348 in 2014 to 84,649 in 2020. The number of PG seats has increased by 80 per cent — from 30,191in 2014 to 54,275 in 2020. During the same period, 179 new medical colleges have been established; the country now has 558 (Govt: 289, Pvt: 269) medical colleges,” it said.

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