New Delhi: The National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) is all set to ask the Narendra Modi government to ensure reservation for OBCs in the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), after a political storm erupted over allegations that they were being denied reservation in state-run medical and dental colleges.
According to sources in the NCBC, a meeting has been scheduled with the Union health secretary Thursday, in which the commission will request the government to ensure that reservation is not denied to thousands of candidates from the OBC community.
“We have complaints of thousands of candidates who have been denied reservation under the quota,” said an NCBC office-bearer. “We are going to request the government to not allow this injustice to continue.”
Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi had written to PM Modi earlier this month, demanding reservation for OBC candidates who lost 11,000 seats since 2017 due to the denial of reservation, she claimed.
“Under the all-India quota, 15 per cent, 7.5 per cent and 10 per cent seats are reserved for SC (scheduled caste), ST (scheduled tribe) and Economically Weaker Section candidates respectively, in both central and state/UT medical education institutions. However, reservation for OBC candidates under all-India quota is restricted to central institutions,” Gandhi had said.
“In the interest of equity and social justice, I strongly urge the Union government to extend reservation for OBC candidates in all-India quota of medical and dental seats, even in the state/UT medical education institutions,” she added.
The all-India quota
Under the provisions of medical and dental entrance exam NEET, both state government and private medical and dental colleges are required to give up 15 per cent of the total number of seats in diploma and undergraduate courses for an all-India quota. They are also required to give up 50 per cent of the seats in post-graduate courses for the quota that can be availed by candidates from across the country.
OBC groups have contended that since 2017, candidates from the OBC category have been denied reservation under the all-India quota.
In May this year, the All India Federation of Other Backward Classes Employees’ Welfare Associations moved the NCBC, claiming that zero reservations have been accorded to OBC candidates under the all-India quota in the NEET exam.
The NCBC then forwarded the complaint to the health ministry, which has so far maintained that it is waiting for the Supreme Court to rule on the matter.
The NCBC had earlier urged the Modi government to roll back its proposal to include salary as a determinant for ‘creamy layer’ as well. The commission had, in March, told the government that it should not tweak the OBC reservation in a manner that it flouts the basic principle guiding reservations in India.
Why news media is in crisis & How you can fix it
India needs free, fair, non-hyphenated and questioning journalism even more as it faces multiple crises.
But the news media is in a crisis of its own. There have been brutal layoffs and pay-cuts. The best of journalism is shrinking, yielding to crude prime-time spectacle.
ThePrint has the finest young reporters, columnists and editors working for it. Sustaining journalism of this quality needs smart and thinking people like you to pay for it. Whether you live in India or overseas, you can do it here.