Representational image | Photo: Dhiraj Singh | Bloomberg
Representational image | Photo: Dhiraj Singh | Bloomberg
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According to govt data, the number of SC & ST students enrolling in MBBS and dental courses has gone up only marginally.

New Delhi: Students from the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes are not filling up the entire quota of seats reserved for them in MBBS and dental courses across India. But in courses such as nursing and midwifery, enrolment from both communities has exceeded their respective quotas of 15 per cent and 7.5 per cent.

Data from the All India Survey of Higher Education (AISHE) under the Ministry of Human Resource Development shows that in the last seven years, enrolment of SCs was 13.42 per cent in 43 medical courses. The corresponding figure for STs was 4.95 per cent.

Meanwhile, in courses such as General Nursing and Midwife and Auxiliary Nurse and Midwife, enrolment of SCs stood at 21.3 per cent and 21.7 per cent respectively, while enrolment of STs was at 9.27 per cent and 10.41 per cent respectively.

Other Backward Classes (OBCs), who get 27 per cent reservation, seem better represented in medical education — their enrolment is 33.19 per cent in the set of 43 courses that include MBBS and dental studies.

Also read: Indian nurses are not paying back their education loans

Who’s studying what?

The average enrolment of SCs in the MBBS course over the seven-year period was 8.9 per cent, while the latest AISHE report showed that in 2017-18, the figure had risen very slightly to 9.03 per cent.

The seven-year figure for STs was just 3.34 per cent, while for 2017-18, it went up marginally to 3.81 per cent.

SCs accounted for 7.59 per cent of enrolment in the bachelor of dental surgery course.

On the flip side, tribal students showed high interest in the bachelor of veterinary science and bachelor of Ayurveda and Naturopathy courses, where they filled up 10.2 per cent and 15 per cent respectively of the total seats — far beyond their quota.

OBCs made up 23.3 per cent of India’s MBBS students, and 24 per cent of General Nursing and Midwife students. But in pharmaceutical studies, they exceeded their quota at every level — diploma (33.67 per cent), bachelor’s degree (32.53), master’s degree (28.95) and doctorate (33.68).

Also read: Quota seats for SC, ST students in higher education remain vacant, OBCs fare better

Why this is happening

Dr Rajeev Sood, dean of the PGIMER Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital in New Delhi and an expert in medical education, said one of the many reasons that students from SC and ST categories do not go for courses such as MBBS and dental is because of the time span of the courses and the kind of money one has to spend.

“They are lengthy, time-taking, technical courses and require more investment, both at the time of studies and after passing out as well. Once these students pass out from colleges, they have to invest money in opening their clinics or hospitals, and not everyone is ready for that,” Sood said.

“Nursing courses, on the other hand, are short-term courses, require less investment and give quick gains. A students who enters these courses will be able to start earning early.”

He added that many students from the reserved category who do enrol for MBBS and dental courses drop out after the first year, when they are not able to cope with the pressure.

Dr B. Srinivas, additional director-general of medical education, government of India, said the problem of low enrolment started at the school level.

“A lot of students from the reserved categories complete their schooling with Hindi as medium of instruction, whereas the whole MBBS programme is taught in English,” he said.

“(The low enrolment) could be because they have to deal with the English language, and their foundations aren’t clear. In the latest curriculum, we have included a two-month foundation course where students learn English and are made comfortable with the course. We hope that this will reduce the attrition the institutions are currently facing.”

Asked why the SCs & STs showed high interest in auxiliary medical studies like nursing and midwifery, Srinivas said: “The entrance exams to these courses are easier to crack than the NEET (National Eligibility cum Entrance Test — a national-level MBBS and dental entrance exam). Their syllabus is also easier than the MBBS.”

However, despite these numbers, the fact remains that the social status of SCs and STs is on the upward curve, said Srinivas.

“The medical courses in which SCs and STs show high interest also have a good job market in the remote and rural areas of the country, where doctors cannot reach. They can help fill this gap, which consequently also improves their social status,” he said.

(With inputs from Kritika Sharma)

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  1. Sir then wat will oc do. I do accept sc and st has to be given right opportunity,but what the middle class oc students.if a sc or st student gets 370 marks he gets college in a very reputated government college,but the same mark scored by a oc student wont even have a chance of getting a seat. At last our dreams are shattered.why this injustice to us???.

  2. I strongly disagree with this stuff.I myself as a medical student witnessed a good no. of reserved students enjoying their mbbs, where as the unreserved ppl with equal or even far better capabilities ..are unable to fulfil their dreams.The allotment should be based on the score.If the only thing is some sector people st/sc can’t afford ,then fee structures can be changed for those sc/st who score that they pursue the course. As somebody mentioned about serving remote areas, in this case separate allotment can be made regardless of scores& out of interest , but it’s not the reservation that’s gonna let someone serve these areas..

  3. This is totally false. Fee of MBBS and BDS are getting high that they are unable to afford. Let’s if they completed BDS there is little scope of getting job, why thn people invest so much money on these. Pressure is not the reason. So please don’t write false data. And lastly these data are made only to remove reservations.

  4. True!! And secondly why do people have problem with st and sc quota ? My question is to general people will you go and serve in remote villages of Arunachal Pradesh or manipur or Sikkim? St and sc quotas are needed interms to fill these remote villages where the reserved student will go back and serve their people. Indian govt wants a homogeneous development of all sector of country therefore quota is compulsory and needed.

  5. Life is valuable don’t play with it. A good nurse or technician is better than a bad doctor. Reserved students are not cleared semister tests by the University. Therefore they leave. Pl abolished quote in higher education. It is harmful of society. Already 3 generation got this injoyied this facility.

  6. How many years required to give redervation, one pers 3 generation got it. Pl SC/ST got admission but not cleared semister tests total 5 years course taken 7 years or more. So they leave. They think to be a bad doctor is better to a good nurse or technician. It is fact.

  7. MBBS course is concerned with human life, so i think its very unfortunate to have reservations in such worlds most competitive nation. Admission should be definitely on basis of score not on caste. Government already helping them by reducing their fee structure.

  8. In fact, more SC ST students entolled in the NEET but they are not qualified. The Govt.should consider to reduce the cut off marks to accommodate sufficient number of candidates to fill up their constitutional quota.

  9. I am also St but I am preparing for neet 2019,and more over I don’t have any dream of getting MBBS by reservation bcz I can score well than the marks which are thr as cut off for science/st

  10. Dear ‘the print’, do you know that no seat in reserved category remains empty, no minimum cut off marks. Don’t twist the data.

  11. The only reason for SC/SC students not taking MBBS/Detal courses is huge amount of money required for studying in private medical colleges/universities offering such courses. I am the victim of this situation, being in govt service for last 30 years didn’t had enough money to send my son to good private medical college around and had to settle for govt medical college. Where as students with good financial background & less marks in NEET took admission in excellent medical colleges. Even after 70 years of Independence and the reservation in jobs/educational institutions being provided under Constitution, the socio economic condition has marginally improved still not enough where one can dream of getting their children getting admitted in private good institutions. The 5000 year system of castes and SC/STs being deprived from education and right to property will never bring at par with other higher castes. It can marginally improve their socio economic condition. Most of the SC/St even today can’t afford marginal amount of money required for taking up courses in govt institutions forget about private institutions.

  12. SC/ ST category medical seats both free and payment quota were filled in Karnataka. Last year one seat that belonged to SC-kannada medium- rural remained but, I think that was transferred to SC normal category and filled.

  13. Due to the faulty distribution style. If there is 50 post den 4 seat reserved for SC 4 for st and 10 for obc and rest 38 for general people . Why dis kind of distribution. Is der more population in General category ?? No
    Den why discrimination ?? All category has to be equal and equal no of seats also r to be provided by the government. Den all can have d equal opportunity.

  14. This is absolutely true…… most of the them don’t have the resources to prepare for NEET in the first place. Secondly, even if the do so, they cant afford the fees. So they opt for nursing which is relatively much cheaper. And being a medical student myself I have personally analysed this. So I feel that the reservations should be made stronger and give everyone a fair opportunity

  15. Totally False News.. I have seen many medical collage batches even with one general candidate… SC, ST due to long reservation effect are finencially more stable now and they can afford their child to study in primere coaching institutes they get good results and get their admission on general kota vacanting their catagory seat and even after scoring high general candidates either allow to stop the preparation or to drop an extra year.. This happens only in our country because its Incredible

  16. this means reserved category students have to forget their dreams of being a doctor…there is no matter of any expenditure if any student have aim so he/she will definitely want to achieve that and don’t accept these rules that they have to study other courses than mbbs

  17. This is totally false–the truth is that especially in southern states SCs&STs are joining MBBS course –their quota is filled by them only.As for as BDS course is concerned,many private colleges are unable to fill all the seats,even ocs are not joining.One important observation I would like to make is only rich among SC,ST are able to garner the reserved quota.The poor among SC,ST are unable to compete with their rich counterparts

  18. It is not true,so many sc,st students eagerly waiting for mbbs but they are not getting seat as per their population

  19. The truth is that capable reserved category students find law are more fruitful line. A lawyer from reserved category has high hopes in entering politics. Its high time caste based reservation is to be completely removed

  20. Political motivated media is creating some statistical data to fuel caste based politics. When there are so many issues there inefficient government functioning in country. A failed democracy with poor becoming poorer and rich getting richer, the politically motivated media like The Fire are just behind fuelling on political agenda of some parties once election time is coming close.

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