Published: 08th July 2020
DMK leader Stalin asks NaMo to rethink 'creamy layer' revision, stop All India Quota in medical education
Stalin, in his letter, reiterated a point that various OBC groups and activists have raised - that reservation is based on social and educational backwardness, not economic backwardness
The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam's President MK Stalin has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi demanding a reversal in the Centre’s decision to include salary as a component of the OBC creamy layer calculation. He also demanded that the All India Quota Admissions in medical courses and NEET be abolished.
With regard to the All India Quota in medical colleges, Stalin said that he did not understand the need for it anymore, as things had improved in the last 36 years and almost all states now have medical colleges of their own, “As of today, the AIQ is a creature of judicial pronouncement and does not have any statutory backing. After 36 years, the need for such a quota is no longer relevant owing to the increased number of medical colleges in every state. Medical education being squarely a matter of governance should be administered by the Parliament and the State Legislature, taking into account the changing needs.” He argued for the states to have control over the admissions, “The power of the State to bring in independent legislation to have their own selection process to admit their students and from other States is always available. The Central Government can abolish the AIQ, and instead leave it to the discretion of the State to fix some percentage of “unreserved seats” which will enable students from other States to compete in unreserved quota after allocating the state reservations for SC, ST and OBC.”
The DMK has been consistent in its calling for NEET to be abolished, in this letter too, the President points out that in the last three years of NEET being implemented in the state, the only students to benefit are the ones who had afford private coaching, “From the last three years of the NEET, is clear that only students who are able to go for private coaching are able to score in this examination. These private coaching classes are unaffordable for many students in the state who face an unfair disadvantage. These problems are further highlighted by a 17 percent decrease in the number of students from Tamil Nadu who applied for NEET 2020.”
“The federal structure of medical education stands violated when the Central Government unilaterally passes an order, which undermines the State government’s authority over this concurrent subject under List III of Schedule VII of the constitution. Also, the NEET obviously places those who studied in CBSE schools at an advantage than those who study at state board schools, because different state boards follow different syllabi and textbooks, leading to different standards of education. This is unfair to the state syllabus students,” he added.
Stalin, in his letter, reiterated a point that various OBC groups and activists have raised - that reservation is based on social and educational backwardness, not economic backwardness. “Economic criterion is against the spirit of reservation. That is the reason why it has not found a place in our Constitution, with regard to reservation. We have been opposing the Creamy Layer issue right from the start. Hence, including salary to be part of the income test to categorize the creamy layer with OBC ignores the social barriers that continue to exist for marginalised communities in India,” he said.
He stressed on the fact that this ‘creamy layer’ was not part of the original reservation package and that the Mandal commission had clearly categorised 52 percent of the population as backward which shows the scale of the impact of such a decision. He urged the PM and the Centre to reject the BP Sharma Committee report, “The expert committee, in the name of streamlining and simplifying the concept of creamy layer has recommended restrictions of OBCs with regard to availing of reservation benefits. More so, NCBC is constituted under Art 340. Being a constitutional body, it is specifically entrusted with the functions relating to investigate the conditions of socially and educationally backward classes within the territory of India and the difficulties under which they labour and to make recommendations as to the steps to be taken to remove such difficulties and to improve their conditions. Therefore, an expert committee entrusted with the said functions cannot be countenanced in law and would undermine the creation of NCBC itself,” he argued in his letter.