Government’s historic decision in medical education, 27% for OBC and 10% for EWS

New Delhi: The government has made a historic decision in the country’s medical education sector. Under the All India Quota, 27% for OBC students and 10% for undergraduate / postgraduate, medical and dental education (EWS) students will be reserved.

The decision will benefit 5550 students from the OBC and the Economic Vulnerability Division (EWS) for admission in medical and dental education. The government is committed to making reservations for the upliftment of the country’s backward and underprivileged income groups. According to the Ministry of Health, the Ministry has introduced 27% reservation for OBCs from the academic year 2021-22 for the All India Quota Scheme for UG and PG Medical / Dental Courses (MBBS / MD / MS / Diploma / BDS / MDS). And it is slated to give 10% reservation to the weaker section of the state economically.

This decision will benefit about 1500 OBC students in MBBS and 2500 OBC students in Masters and around 550 EWS students in MBBS and approximately 1000 EWS students in Masters each year. The All India Quota (AIQ) scheme was introduced in 1986 under the direction of the Hon’ble Supreme Court to provide students of any state with a merit-based opportunity to study at a good medical college in a different state. The All India Quota comprises 15% of the total UG seats and 50% of the PG seats available at Government Medical Colleges.

AIQ project

Initially until 2007 there were no reservations on the AIQ project. In 2007, a valid Supreme Court introduced a reservation of 15% for SC and 7.5% for ST under AIQ scheme. When the Central Education Institutions (Reservation in Access) Act came into effect in 2007, a similar 27% reservation was provided to OBCs. It was implemented in all central educational institutions. Safdarjung Hospital, Lady Harding Medical College, Aligarh Muslim University and Banaras Hindu University. However, this has not been extended to AIQ seats in state medical and dental colleges.

The present government is committed to making proper reservations for the backward class and the EWS. The central government has now made a historic decision to provide 27% reservation for OBCs in the AQ scheme and 10% reservation for EWS. OBC students from across the country will now be able to take advantage of this reservation in the AIQ scheme to compete for any state seats. Being a central project, a central list of OBCs is used for this reservation. The reservation will benefit over 1500 OBC students and 2500 undergraduate students in MBBS.

A constitutional amendment has been made

In order to provide facilities for students belonging to the EWS class in admission to higher education institutions, a constitutional amendment was made in 2019 which provided a 10% reservation for the EWS class. Accordingly, in accordance with this additional 10% EWS reservation, seats in medical / dental colleges have been increased by two years in 2019-20 and 2020-21, thereby reducing the total number of seats available for the reserved category. However, this benefit has not yet been extended to AIQ seats.

Therefore, in addition to the 27% reservation for OBCs, the 10% reservation in AIQ seats for all undergraduate / postgraduate medical / dental courses is being extended from the current academic year of 2021-22. It benefits more than 550 EWS students of MBBS and about 1000 EWS students each year for PB medical courses. The above decision is a reflection of the Government’s commitment to provide proper reservation for backward and EWS class students.

This decision is in line with significant improvements made in the field of medical education since 2014. Over the past six years, the country’s MBBS seats have grown from 54,348 seats in 2014 to 84,649 in 2020. The number of PG seats increased from 30,191 seats in 2014 to 54,275 in 2020. During the same period, 179 new medical colleges were established and there are now 558 (Government: 289, Private: 269) medical colleges in the country.

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