Mumbai: After the Supreme Court and the Bombay High Court scrapped the applicability of Socially and Economically Backward Classes (SEBC) for the current year (2019), some 250 medical students who had secured admissions to various post-graduation courses in Maharashtra are now left high and dry.
They are on the warpath since one week demanding that the Maharashtra government intervene in the matter immediately and prevent them from losing a valuable academic year, said Krishna Kirkre, spokesperson of the students' group.
"The government had promised us yesterday (May 13) that they would promulgate an Ordinance to reserve our seats, but almost a day later, nothing has happened... We have become the scapegoat in their politics," Kirkre told IANS.
The PG courses started on May 2, but on May 5 they were informed that their admissions were cancelled, though they had paid full fees and joined duties.
They had secured admissions on the basis of the Maratha quota (SEBC) while cancelling their seats won through the All India Quota, but the SEBC quota has been declared invalid for the current year, he added.
The worse was, all other options of seeking admissions, like entrance exams, have already closed, and the students stand to lose their academic year, Kirkre said.
"The state government has made various assurances, but nothing concrete has come by way of a GR or order so far... We shall be compelled to intensify our agitation," Kirkre warned.
Another student, Shivaji Bhosale, said that it was not the mistake of the students to seek admissions under SEBC, but now they are suffering for this.
The Bombay HC had, on May 4, said that the March 8 notification on the implementation of the new 16 per cent reservations for the Maratha community under the SEBC quota, would not be applicable to the post-graduate medical admission process which had already got underway earlier.
Following this, the state government moved the Supreme Court seeking an ex-parte stay on the Bombay HC ruling and leave to file an appeal.
However, the apex court also upheld the Bombay HC order saying that SEBC Act, Sec. 16(2) bars the grant of reservations if the process of entrance test had already started before the Act came into force.
The state government contended that these students who secured admission under the SEBC were allotted admissions under the All India quota, which they had cancelled, and hence they could lose one academic year.
The SC has extended the deadline for admissions from May 18 to May 25, but students claim that it may not be enough.
After these developments, the Maharashtra Common Entrance Test (CET) Cell had issued the orders cancelling the admissions given under the SEBC quota.
Last year, on November 30, 2018, the Maharashtra government had proposed 16 per cent reservations in jobs and education for the Maratha community under the SEBC.
Accusing the state government of not taking due legal precautions beforehand, the protesting students attempted to lay siege to the Chief Minister's bungalow on Sunday, but were thwarted by the police.