New Delhi: The Union government on Thursday informed the Supreme Court that it would not be possible to implement reservation for OBCs in All India Quota (AIQ) of medical seats in non-central institutes in Tamil Nadu this year. The Centre cited the shortage of time as the reason with the NEET results due today. This is following the government of Tamil Nadu along with other political parties, excluding the BJP, having moved the court demanding that the 50% OBC reservations in the state apply to AIQ. Currently, 15% medical and dental seats at the undergraduate level and 50% of seats at the postgraduate level are filled under AIQ.
The Madras High Court had ruled in favour of OBC reservations in July and called for a panel to implement the same. The ruling states, "There is no legal or constitutional bar against OBC reservation under All India Quota. The panel that the High Court has recommended to be constituted is to also include the Tamil Nadu Health Secretary."
All India Quota was instituted in non-central institutions in 1984 and continued to be filled without reservations until 2009 when the Supreme Court passed orders for reservation for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. While a 2006 law implemented 27% OBC quota for medical admissions in central institutions, this does not apply to the seats given by state-run institutions for AIQ despite quotas for the economically weaker sections belonging to the general category. Saloni Kumar from Uttar Pradesh filed a case in 2015 in the apex court seeking reservations for OBCs under the quota, and the case is pending with the court.
"The seats are transferred to the general category which is unjustified and unconstitutional. Had the seats remained in the States, the OBCs would have benefitted much. For example, this year, Tamil Nadu has 1758 PG seats. Out of this, 879 seats are pooled by the Medical Counselling Committee (MCC) for All India Quota. Of these 879 seats, the OBCs are not getting any reservation. Had the seats remained in the Tamil Nadu quota, as per their reservation policy, 440 seats would have gone to OBC students. The same applies to all the States," said G Karunanidhi, General Secretary of All India Federation of Other Backward Classes Employees' Welfare Association, as quoted by Edexlive.
Though the ruling of the Madras High Court refers to the state of Tamil Nadu, this could now be employed by different states to demand reservations for OBCs in AIQ.