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27% OBC quota in All-India medical seats

Friday, 30 July 2021 | PNS | New Delhi

The Modi Government on Thursday decided to provide 27 per cent reservation for Other Backward Classes (OBCs) and 10 per cent reservation for Economically Weaker Section (EWS) in the All India Quota (AIQ) scheme for undergraduate and postgraduate medical/dental courses (MBBS/MD/ MS/Diploma/ BDS/MDS) from the academic year 2021-22 onwards.

The decision will help every year nearly 1,500 OBC students in MBBS and 2,500 OBC students in post-graduation and also around 550 EWS students in MBBS and around 1,000 EWS students in post-graduation.

This was decided by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a meeting held on July 26, said the Union Health Ministry in a statement.

Calling this a “landmark decision”, the Prime Minister said that this will immensely help thousands of youth every year get better opportunities and create a new paradigm of social justice in the country.

The Ministry said in a statement that this decision is in sync with the significant reforms carried out in the field of medical education since 2014.

During the last six years, MBBS seats in the country have increased by 56 per cent from 54,348 seats in 2014 to 84,649 seats in 2020. Similarly, the number of PG seats has increased by 80 per cent from 30,191 seats in 2014 to 54,275 seats in 2020.

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

AIQ consists of 15 per cent of total available UG seats and 50 per cent of total available PG seats in Government medical colleges.

Initially, there was no reservation in AIQ scheme up to 2007. However, in 2007, the Supreme Court introduced reservations of 15 per cent for Scheduled Castes (SCs) and 7.5 per cent for Scheduled Tribes (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 such as Safdarjung Hospital, Lady Harding Medical College, Aligarh Muslim University and Banaras Hindu University, explained an official from the Ministry.

However, this was not extended to the AIQ seats of State medical and dental colleges.

The Ministry said in a statement that the OBC students from across the country shall now be able to take benefit of this reservation in AIQ scheme to compete for seats in any State.

Being a Central Scheme, the Central List of OBCs shall be used for this reservation.

In order to provide benefit to students belonging to 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 does not reduce.

In the AIQ seats, however, this benefit had not been extended so far. Therefore, along with the 27 per cent reservation for OBCs, 10% 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.

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