Pune: In a move to encourage and support specially-abled students studying medicine, the Medical Council of India (MCI) has now reserved five per cent seats for these students, who are aspiring to do a postgraduate course in medicine across the country. On similar lines, same seat reservations will be extended for the medical graduates as well.
Earlier, only locomotive disabilities were considered, however, this circular also includes 21 other disabilities, which include dyslexia, cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s, partial loss of hearing and vision, muscular dystrophy, thalassemia and others.
A recently published circular by MCI stated that five per cent seats of annual sanctioned intake capacity is filled up by persons with benchmark disabilities in accordance with the provisions of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, based on the merit list of National Eligibility-Cum-Entrance Test (NEET) for admission to postgraduate medical courses.
The circular made it necessary for the candidate to have minimum marks of 45 percentile for general category and 40 percentile for SC/ST/OBC in NEET for postgraduate courses.
Speaking about this, Pravin Shingare, Director of State Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER), said that there were three per cent reserved seats for specially-abled students now that is being raised to five per cent.
“It is a welcome step. So far, physically disabled candidates were included and now we are looking at a broader range of conditions and such students can now compete with others. We have also raised the reserved seats for medical graduates to five per cent with this inclusive approach,” said Shingare.
Speaking about the impact of these reserved seats, Dr Vijay Ramanan, Hematologist from the city, recently treated a 22-year-old medical student, who was suffering from thalassemia.
“The patient was able to stay off transfusion and could easily do the medical course. Recently, I also met a class 10 student, who was reluctant to take up biology as her parents feared that the course would be very hectic. However, such rules will encourage patients to seek cure as well as help others like them,” said Ramanan.