The government on Thursday conceded to the longstanding demand from medical aspirants and approved 27 per cent reservation to students belonging to OBC and 10 per cent for EWS students in the all India quota (AIQ) seats for undergraduate and postgraduate medical and dental courses from 2021-22. The issue has long been pending despite several litigations countrywide.
The reservations will benefit 1500 OBC students in MBBS and 2500 in postgraduation. 550 EWS students in MBBS and 1000 in postgraduation shall also be benefitted every year.
The official statement added that the approval is a reflection of the government's commitment to providing reservations to backward and EWS category students and is in sync with the reforms carried out in medical education since 2014. There has been a 56 per cent increase in MBBS seats in the country; it increased from 54,348 seats in 2014 to 84,649 in 2020. Furthermore, PG seats witnessed an 80 per cent increase from 30,191 seats in 2014 to 54,275 seats in 2020. 179 new medical colleges were established in the same period, increasing the number of medical colleges in the country to 558, the statement added.
The All India Quota of medical seats was composed as per the directive of the Supreme Court in 1984. All states surrendered 15 per cent of undergraduate seats and 50 per cent of postgraduate seats to the quota. Students across the country are eligible to apply for admission to this.
In 2007, the SC introduced 15 per cent reservation for Scheduled castes and 7.5 per cent for Scheduled Tribes in the AIQ scheme. Though the Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Admission) Act of 2007 implemented 27 per cent reservation for OBCs in all Central Educational Institutions, this was not extended to the AIQ of state medical and dental colleges.