SC dismisses State govt’s petition

Friday, 10 May 2019

Medicos from city relieved as apex court dismisses plea for 16 pc Maratha reservation in PG courses

PUNE: Upholding Bombay High Court’s (HC) decision on non-application of 16 per cent Maratha reservation for Socially and Economically Backward Class (SEBC) in medical and dental postgraduate (PG) courses this year, the Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday dismissed the State government’s Special Leave Petition over reconsideration of the HC’s decision. 

This has brought relief for city-based PG medical aspirants who were affected because of the reservation.

The Maharashtra Assembly passed the 16 per cent reservation for Maratha community under SEBC category. 

Followed by which, all educational institutes were directed to make the required changes in the admissions process. 

However, admissions to the medical PG courses began on October 16. In the beginning of March 2019, the State government asked the institutes to incorporate the reservation policy in the admissions process. 

Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER) published the provisional seat matrix on March 27. 

Consequently, students approached the Bombay HC and the court overruled the application of 16 per cent Maratha reservation this year. 

After which, the State government knocked on the doors of the Supreme Court, stating that already the admissions process has got delayed due to inclusion of the quota and now with further changes it will be delayed more.

Students expressed happiness over the SC’s ruling stating that after MBBS, everyone is a doctor and gets an equal stipend to sustain. 

“Therefore, it is wrong to say that doctors are underprivileged,” said a third-year MBBS student of BJ Medical College, who had participated in a recent protest against reservation in the city. 

A student, who is aspiring for a PG seat in paediatrics, said, “I am very relieved that the SEBC reservation finally got cancelled. Even though the admissions process has been delayed, it is better late than never. At least now, meritorious students will get the seats they deserve.”

“My state rank is 405 and I want to pursue paediatrics. I have not yet got a seat in Maharashtra because of the new reservation policies. Now, the 16 per cent seats will be back in the Open category. So hopefully, I will get a paediatrics seat,” she said on condition of anonymity.

Another PG aspirant, also on condition of anonymity, said, “With the increase in the quota system, many students who were not allotted any seats through State counselling, took admission through all India quota in other states. Now, they will not be allowed to appear for counselling in Maharashtra, which has again subjected this verdict to questions where the affected students are not getting benefit completely.”

Nitin Bhagali, a medical expert, said the reservation system will only end up in brain drain, as many students failing to seek admissions here, will now look for admissions abroad. 

“Education should not have reservation. To aid underprivileged background students, the government can bring in scholarships or provide free hostel facilities. But they shouldn’t compromise on merit,” added Bhagali.

Bhagali also commented on stipend received by doctors. “Those stipends are nominal, considering the amount of hectic schedule they go through, especially residential doctors. Therefore, it is difficult to survive,” said Bhagali.

Meanwhile, the State common entrance test cell has issued an admission cancellation notice stating that in view of the direction by the apex court, admissions to NEET-PG 2019 and NEET-MDS 2019, done during previous rounds I and II, have been cancelled. The admissions to the postgraduate courses to State quota seats of the government/ corporation/ central government/government aided/ private unaided and minority medical/dental institutes will be revised in due course. “The admitted candidates can collect their original documents and paid requisite fees from their admitted institute. The concern institutes should return all the documents and fees to the candidates without fail,” said AE Rayate, Commissioner and Competent Authority of State CET Cell.

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