The government on Thursday announced 27% reservation for other backward classes (OBCs) and 10% for economically weaker section (EWS) in the all India quota (AIQ) scheme for undergraduate and postgraduate medical and dental courses.
The reservation will be applicable to MBBS, MD, MS, Diploma, BDS, and MDS courses for the academic year 2021-22.
The decision would benefit nearly 1,500 OBC students in MBBS and 2,500 OBC students in postgraduation every year, and around 550 EWS students in MBBS and around 1000 EWS students in postgraduation, the union health ministry said.
The government said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a meeting held on 26 July had directed the concerned Union ministries to facilitate an effective solution to this long-pending issue.
The All India Quota (AIQ) Scheme was introduced in 1986 under the directions of the Supreme Court to provide for domicile-free merit-based opportunities to students.
In 2007, the Supreme Court introduced reservations of 15% for SCs and 7.5% for STs in the AIQ Scheme. All India Quota consists of 15% of total available UG seats and 50% of total available PG seats in government medical colleges.
The same was implemented in all the Central Educational Institutions viz. Safdarjung Hospital, Lady Harding Medical College, Aligarh Muslim University and Banaras Hindu University, etc. However, this was not extended to the AIQ seats of State medical and dental colleges.
The present Government is committed to providing due reservation both to the backward category as well as the EWS category. The Union Government has now taken a historic decision to provide for 27% reservation for OBCs and 10% reservation for EWS in the AIQ Scheme.
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. Around 1500 OBC students in MBBS and 2500 in postgraduation will be benefitted through 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% 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% EWS reservation so that the total number of seats available for unreserved category do not reduce. In the AIQ seats, however, this benefit had not been extended so far.
Therefore, along with the 27% reservation for OBCs, 10% reservation for EWS is also being extended in AQI seats for all the undergraduate/postgraduate medical/dental courses from the current academic year 2021-22. This will benefit every year around more than 550 EWS students for MBBS and around 1000 EWS students for PG medical courses.
This decision is also 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% from 54,348 seats in 2014 to 84,649 seats in 2020 and the number of PG seats have increased by 80% from 30,191seats in 2014 to 54,275 seats in 2020. During the same period, 179 new medical colleges have been established and now the country has 558 (Govt: 289, Pvt: 269) medical colleges.