Published: 17th November 2022
Rajasthan: Inclusion of management quota in gov't medical colleges irks students, parents and experts
New joiners and current students both complain about the fact that 35 per cent of the seats are being reserved for the management quota
The reservation norms in the government medical colleges of Rajasthan have upset students. New joiners and current students both complain about the fact that 35 per cent of the seats in the medical colleges are being reserved for the management quota for both MBBS and MD courses. This is hampering the meritorious students, claim parents, experts and activists.
An issue not so new
It was in 2017 that a new body called the Rajasthan Medical Education Society (RajMES) was established as per orders by the state government. Prior to this, no regulatory body for medical education was in place in the state. Eight new colleges were established under this body, in addition to the six government medical colleges in Rajasthan. However, after the body became functional, 35 per cent of the seats in the new colleges was reserved for the management quota, 15 per cent was reserved for the Non-Resident Indian (NRI) quota, while the rest 50 per cent of the seats were divided between State Quota (35%) and All India Quota (15%). Earlier, 85 per cent of the seats were meant for the State Quota and the rest 15 per cent were meant for the AIQ.
This has created problems for the students of Rajasthan, say experts and activists. "The seats for students have reduced and the fees have shot up due to the introduction of the management quota. Meritorious students who come from financially weak backgrounds do not get admissions. In contrast, students who secure inferior ranks in NEET but pay for the seats get them," said Dr Raj Shekhar Yadav, State Convenor of United Private Clinics and Hospitals Association of Rajasthan (UPCHAR).
"The fee for State Quota seats has shot up from approximately Rs 25,000 to Rs 50,000, varying for colleges. But for the management quota, the fee has shot up from Rs 7.5 to Rs 8.6 lakh. After the State Quota of 35 per cent is filled, students are asked to take seats from the management quota," said Kalyan Singh, a parent and an activist. He explained the situation with an example: If there are two students with similar ranks, say 575 and 576, both are eligible for the State Quota. Suppose the student with the 575th rank gets a seat in the State Quota but after this, the seats are filled, the student with the 576th rank will have to take admission in the management quota, by paying a hefty fee.
Dr Raj informs that the students approached the Rajasthan High Court, demanding a resolution of this unfair reservation policy. "Two cases were filed in 2018 and 2019 respectively, then later, they were merged. But date after date has been proceeding since the cases were filed without any hearing," added Singh. The last hearing took place on November 7 and the next date has not been updated by the court yet.
Campaigns yield no results
The Rajasthan Medical Students' Association (RMSA) sent representations to Raghu Sharma, Minister of Health and Family Welfare, in 2020. "The students have been struggling for a long time. They have sent several representations since to the Health Minister as well as to the Chief Minister," said Dr Rakesh Bagdi, a member of the Federation of All India Medical Association (FAIMA). He further stated that FAIMA supported the Rajasthan students. "We carried out a Twitter storm on this matter," he said. "So, the government is aware of the issue. But there has not been any solid response from its end nor has any action been taken in the matter," Dr Rakesh added.
What students say
"Students with ranks in the same range are having to pay fees for two different types of seats. The fees for management quota seats are too high," said Rohitash Bishnoi, a pre-final year student from Government Medical College, Pali. He added that the students of the concerned government colleges have come together under a group, demanding the rollback of this policy.
"The government is charging so much fees, but what's the use? The existing government colleges have no proper facilities. There aren't good drinking water facilities nor good faculty. Also, there isn't any need for so many medical colleges as there are not many patients. The existing colleges should be improved first before charging high fees to build new colleges," said Yashpal Choudhary, a third-year student from Dungarpur Government Medical College.
What solutions are being proposed?
The parents and experts opine that the management quota seats from government medical colleges should be eliminated since it leaves no difference between government and private colleges. "The 15 per cent NRI quota is alright as it is the Centre's decision, but the management quota is unnecessary as meritorious students are getting affected," said Singh. They also ask for a proper regulating authority for medical education to be established in the state, as they are not satisfied with the current RajMES. "The government should call up meetings with the concerned authorities and a solution should be worked out," Singh added.