New Delhi: The Narendra Modi government is all set to apply OBC reservation in the all-India quota (AIQ) for medical seats, both at the MBBS as well as post-graduation level, ThePrint has learnt.
A notification in this regard is expected soon, senior government officials said. OBC quota in the AIQ for medicine has been a long-standing demand.
Explaining the rationale behind the move, sources in the government said every state government medical college sets aside 15 per cent of its undergraduate (MBBS) and 50 per cent of its post-graduation seats for an all-India quota in keeping with the directions of the Supreme Court.
Students from all over India can vie for these AIQ seats. Since 2006, the sources said, two other groups targeted with affirmative-action policies, the Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs), have got reservation benefits under the AIQ — 15 per cent and 7.5 per cent, respectively.
The Other Backward Classes (OBCs), however, haven’t, they added.
PM Modi Monday held a meeting with ministers and senior officials to resolve the issue.
“From 2021-22, OBC students will get a major benefit thanks to this decision by PM Modi, which has been pending for years,” said a senior official.
Added another official, “Once the health ministry notifies this decision, 27 per cent reservation will be extended to OBCs, apart from 10 per cent for EWS (economically weaker sections).”
The central government informed the Madras High Court Monday that it would resolve the matter in a week’s time. The court was hearing a contempt petition moved by Tamil Nadu’s ruling DMK, where the party has alleged a delay in carrying out a July 2020 court order that directed the quota be implemented in the academic year 2021-22.
‘States on board’
According to sources, most states are on board with the decision.
“Both the Centre and states have separate lists for OBCs. The issue that had to be discussed was — if reservation is to be given, which list should be followed? It has been decided that the central list will be followed in order to bring uniformity,” said the first source quoted above.
“This will also help get a higher number of seats for OBCs as, in many states, the OBC quota is less than 27 per cent (the quota level for OBCs in government jobs and education institutions),” the official added.
A third source said the “demand for applying OBC reservation in AIQ has been pending for 15 years”. “Much litigation is also pending in various courts of the country, and the issue has remained unresolved. OBC students were being deprived of reservation benefits. Finally, it is being resolved,” the source added.
(Edited by Sunanda Ranjan)