The decision of the Maharashtra government to bring in an Ordinance to implement the 16 per cent reservation for Marathas in jobs and educational institutions has angered the general category medical students who now find themselves eligible for less than 25 per cent of seats at the post-graduate level.
The new Maratha quota, promised by the state government in November last year following largescale agitation by the Maratha community, would be first implemented in the admissions to the post-graduate medical admissions.
There are a total of 972 seats in post-graduate courses in the various government medical colleges in the state. After the Maratha quota is implemented, only 233 of these seats would be open for general category students. Half, or 486, of the seats are reserved for SC/ST/OBC and other reserved category candidates according to the normal reservation quotas. Ten per cent, or 97 seats, are now reserved for economically weaker sections. The Maratha quota would account for 156 seats.
As many as 2024 general category students have qualified for post-graduate courses in the NEET in the current year. As a result, even the top-rankers in the general category are struggling to find seats at the colleges of their choice.
The students, and their parents, have been protesting against the state government’s plans for a few months now, but complain that they are not even being listened to. One way out is to increase the number of seats in the post-graduate courses to accommodate the general category students as well, but the infrastructure at the colleges do not support a major increase.
The other option being talked about is state funding of post-graduate education of qualified general category students in private medical colleges.