Centre proposes to apply OBC reservation in all-India medical seats

SC earlier observed reservation was not a fundamental right and asked petitioners to approach HC

Days after the Supreme Court observed that reservation was not a fundamental right, the Centre told the Madras High Court that it had proposed to apply state-specific reservation for the Other Backward Class (OBC) on all available all-India quota seats for undergraduate and postgraduate medical and dental courses.

In an affidavit filed in the high court, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare laid down a condition that the reservation would not exceed the 50 per cent of total available seats and the existing reservation of the unreserved category, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes would not be disturbed by proportionately increasing the number of seats.

“On implementation Of State Specific Reservation Policy for SC, ST & OBC, the State Government will have to contribute AIQ seats category wise including seats reserved for Physically Handicapped candidates by maintaining reservation roster at college/state level,” the ministry said in the affidavit.

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Earlier this month, the Tamil Nadu government, and parties including the DMK, AIADMK, PMK, MDMK, Tamil Nadu Congress Committee, CPI and CPI(M) had moved the Supreme Court challenging the Centre’s decision not to grant 50 per cent reservation to OBCs in the all-India quota in medical and dental colleges.

The Supreme Court bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao, Krishna Murari and S Ravindra Bhat, after observing that “the right to reservation is not a fundamental right”, refused to entertain their pleas and said the petitioners could approach the Madras High Court.

While the DMK claimed that Medical Council of India (MCI) regulations clearly contemplated adherence to state reservation laws while filling up the seats, the AIADMK had alleged that there was no rational basis for not extending the benefit of 50 per cent reservation for OBCs, as envisaged under the state laws, to the state-captured seats in the all-India quota.

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