Published: 22nd July 2021
Sub judice logic just an excuse: Student groups ask govt to implement OBC quota in NEET's All India Quota seats
Students also pointed out that the education minister has been the voice for the implementation of OBC reservations in NEET before
Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan announced the dates for NEET 2021 — September 12 — on July 12. Student groups and activists pointed out that the NEET Information Bulletin says that the All India Quota (AIQ) seats will not have reservations for OBC because the matter is still sub judice or being heard in court.
But Kiran Kumar, President, All India OBC Students Association (AIOBCSA) said that the 'sub judice logic' does not stand because it should not stop the centre from implementing the reservation. "There is no restriction on the centre. If they implement the reservation then the case will be dismissed on its own. We are urging them to take cognisance and implement the reservation," he added. He also pointed out that the matter is only sub judice for the UG seats and not for the PG seats, "They are just linking the two."
Students also pointed out that the Education Minister has been the voice for the implementation of OBC reservations in NEET before and it's weird that he is the one making such an announcement as a part of the cabinet. "Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has earlier raised the issue in Odisha and now he is the one making these announcements," said Kiran.
The student groups said that this will cause the exclusion of a huge number of OBC students. A report published by the All India Federation of Other Backward Classes Employees’ Welfare claimed that 11,027 students have been affected by this so far. Their demand is simple. They want the 27 per cent reservation to be implemented in the AIQ just like the SC and ST reservations are implemented. "While introducing his new ministers to the Parliament the Prime Minister proudly said that most of them are children of farmers and are from Other Backward Castes. But he must also address the problems of lakhs of OBC children who are aspiring to become doctors by clearing NEET. They are losing thousands of medical seats both at the UG level and PG level," said Kiran.
"The NEET Information Bulletin clearly states that the implementation of OBC reservations in the state-surrendered seats to AIQ shall be subject to the outcome of the case pending before the Supreme Court in Writ Petition No 596 of 2015. The Saloni Kumari case is all about the implementation of OBC reservations in the state-surrendered seats. The Madras High Court also made a serious comment — 'To not implement the reservation is not a choice for the Union government' but it is a constitutional obligation," added a statement from the AIOBCSA who said that they will wait for a week for the government to answer and then intensify the process.
The All India Students Association (AISA) and the Students' Federation of India (SFI) have also joined the protests with statements and letters urging the government to implement the OBC reservation. Youth organisations like the Bhim Army and Mandal Army have also chimed in. "This is a clear assault on the rights of the students from backward sections of the country and once again proves the negligence of the BJP-led NDA government towards ensuring social justice," said SFI President VP Sanu. And this is not an isolated view. "They have always resorted to a systematic attack on reservation in higher education," added Mayukh Biswas, General Secretary, SFI.
The Ministry of Education or the NTA has not commented on the issue yet.