Published: 11th May 2020
Why denial of OBC reservation in All India Quota for medical seats is a social injustice
For the seats drawn from the States for the All India Quota, SC/STs are provided 15% and 7.5%. In the same way, OBCs should be provided 27% . the Association argued
The All India Federation of Other Backward Classes Employees' Welfare Associations has written to Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan accusing the government of violating the reservation policy by not providing an OBC quota for medical seats. This year, the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) was allotted 653 seats for PG courses under the All India Quota and students under the OBC community was only given 371 seats.
"Since 2017, the OBCs have been denied reservations both in PG/UG medical seats under All India Quota. Thus, they are denied 3000 seats every year which are transferred to General Category. This year also, the same injustice continues," the association's General Secretary, G Karunanidhy said. He pointed out that out of the 9550 seats under the All India Quota this year, nearly 8800 constitute seats in the colleges run by the state governments.
However, OBCs are only given a share of the seats in the Central government institutions but are denied state college seats. "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," he explained. "Of these 879 seats, the OBCs are not getting any reservation. Had the seats remained in the Tamil Nadu, as per their reservation policy, 440 seats would have gone to OBC students. The same applies to all the States," he explained.
The EWS quota had its share of opposition when it was implemented as many saw it to be in violation of the original aim behind allocating seats and jobs to the schedules, tribes, castes and backward castes - since reservation is not the eradication of poverty but to give people the opportunities they had been robbed off because of their oppression by the forward castes.
"It is appalling that the EWS category is eligible to have 653 seats in PG courses under the All India Quota this year," he added. He also said that the association had been sending many letters to the Ministry asking for a response but had not gotten any, "Our letters to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has not yielded any result. Members of Parliament cutting across party lines raised this matter. But the Minister replied saying that 27% reservation to OBCs is applied to the seats pooled from the Colleges run by Central Government as per Central Educational Institutions Reservations Act, thus diverting the question about providing reservation on the All India Quota seats pooled from the State-run colleges."
Speaking about how the matter was in court but the government had not taken steps to address the matter, Kaunanidhy said that the government was allowing general category students to enjoy the 3000 seats that the OBCs are entitled to, "The matter is very simple. For the seats drawn from the States for the All India Quota, SC/STs are provided 15% and 7.5%. In the same way, OBCs should be provided 27%. The Health Ministry, as is done for SC/ST in 15% All India UG Seats, has to take a decision to extend 27% reservation to OBCs also in the AIQ drawn from States and should file a reply in the Supreme Court. Instead of doing this act, the Health Ministry is dragging the matter and their reply is disappointing," he said.
He questioned how robbing the OBCs of seats that they are entitled to is not a case of social injustice, "When SCs, STs and now EWS are given reservations in the All India Medical Seats both for PG and UG, denying reservation for OBCs is a blatant violation of the Indian Constitution and atrocious. If this is not social injustice then what else? Why should the OBCs alone be made to suffer and make petitions seeking their constitutional rights despite the fact, the Government is committed to social justice?"
Stating these facts, the Association requested the Health Ministry to extend the 27 percent reservation to seats under the All India Quota s well, "We request your good self to kindly direct the Health Ministry to extend 27% reservation to OBC candidates in the state-pooled All India Quota seats also both under UG and PG seats for this academic year onwards."