Published: 05th March 2021
Madurai bench of the Madras HC tells Govt to consider making NEET reservation more inclusive
If students like Soundarya, who hails from a disadvantaged background, had any inkling that such reservation would come into play, in all probabilities they would not have opted for the sponsorship
A meritorious medical aspirant Soundarya from the Adi Dravidar community was denied the benefit of a 7.5 per cent reservation on grounds that though she studied in a government school till Class X, she did her Class XI and XII studies in a private school through government sponsorship under the Adi Dravidar welfare policy.
When she approached the Madurai Bench of Madras High Court challenging the said rejection, Justice V Parthiban, dismissed the plea since the present provisions of the Act does not support the grant of the relief sought by the petitioner. However, he observed that the government was being unfair and advised it to rethink and find a solution to make the reservation more inclusive so that such injustice is not repeated in the coming academic years.
Sympathising with Soundarya's situation, the judge said, "Being meritorious and rank holder from Adi Dravidar community, pursuing her dream to become a Doctor has hit the roadblock shattering her dream and the sordid cause for the roadblock is her merit which became unfortunately her undoing."
If students like Soundarya, who hails from a disadvantaged background, had any inkling that such reservation would come into play, in all probabilities they would not have opted for the sponsorship provided by the government to get educated in private schools in their higher secondary courses, he further added. He also disagreed with the government's stand that while students who studied in private schools till Class VIII under the Right to Education (RTE) Act are eligible for the reservation, those who availed of government scholarship in Class XI and Class XII are not.
He said that the government is under an obligation to consider the unfortunate predicament of such students and consult with its administration and educationists for their inclusion in the definition without derailing the kernel of the object at least from the next academic year.