TN releases minority list for Christian medical colleges after SC judgment on CMC
Following the Supreme Court judgment on the petition filed by Christian Medical College (CMC), Vellore on January 19, the Tamil Nadu government on February 15 released a tentative eligibility list of religious and linguistic minority candidates for reservation in private medical colleges.
The CMC had prayed the apex court to quash the Tamil Nadu Medical Selection Committee’s letter whereby the state government demanded to impose the state policy of providing 50 per cent reservation in undergraduate and postgraduate medical seats under state quota, to religious minorities.
The state has 17 self-financing medical colleges under The Tamil Nadu Dr MGR Medical University – of this, nine are minority institutions. The reservation for minorities is done based on two factors – linguistic and religious identities. While the state has five Telugu and one Malayali minority institutions, for religious minorities, it has three Christian minority institutions.
The ratio of seats shared between the government and management of unaided self-financing medical and dental colleges in non-minority institutions is 65:35. The seat-sharing ratio of the state government and management of minority institutions is 50:50. However, the Selection Committee claims that it has learnt that for the past few years, these minority institutions have not been properly implementing the reservations. While in 2020-2021, only three institutions surrendered the seats which were meant for religious and linguistic minorities, the remaining institutions either did not implement the reservation or they predetermined the intake themselves.
‘CMC admitted less meritorious students’
“The minority reservation policy in private medical colleges has been there for many years. But this year alone, the CMC filed a case and that is why we have released the minority list on our website,” said Dr P Vasanthamani, secretary of the state Selection Committee.
Earlier students were required to apply with the CMC and the college would prepare a list of eligible students from across the country. It would then send the list to the Selection Committee for approval. This year, the Selection Committee has analysed the allotment of seats done in the last four years based on the NEET eligibility marks.
“We came to know that many of the students were given seats by this institution, though they scored below the ranks of Scheduled Caste (Arunthathiyars) and Scheduled Tribes, albeit a majority of Christians are from Backward Classes or Most Backward Classes. It means, the college gave seats to less meritorious students instead of choosing eligible students from the general merit list. So the Selection Committee has decided that this year it will prepare a list and only eligible students will be admitted. We have communicated this to the CMC and hence they have gone to the court,” she said.
While hearing the CMC’s petition against the government, the apex court directed that the admissions of students belonging to Christian community to PG Courses in 2020-21 in CMC would be done based on the NEET merit list. Based on the court order, the Selection Committee revised the PG list. But here lies the detail. In the revised list, the state has allotted seats to Christian students only from Tamil Nadu.
Admission only for TN Christian students, alleges CMC
Taking exception to the list, the CMC filed an interlocutory application in the court opposing the “state-centered” allotment instead of allowing the admission of the students from across the country. Hearing the petition on February 14, the court observed that the fact that Christian students coming from outside the state would not be entitled for admission in Tamil Nadu as they would not be treated as Christians, should have been highlighted (by the counsel for the state) when the January 19 order was being dictated.
To this, additional Advocate General Amit Anand Tiwari who appeared on behalf of the state government said that the admission taken in the states are based on the state merit list, whereas the Director-General of Health Services conducts counselling from the All India merit list for 15 per cent of seats given to All India Quota pool and allotting seats in deemed universities.
“In our communication, we have also sought that 50 per cent reservation should be given to in-service doctors who served in the state government,” added Vasanthamani. The CMC has also filed a petition against this saying that the in-service quota cannot be extended to management seats.
After hearing all the arguments, the top court said that for this year (2021-22) alone, 30 per cent of seats can be filled by the CMC and the remaining 70 per cent would be filled by the Selection Committee.
“From next year, 100 per cent of seats would be filled by the Selection Committee. All the self-financing colleges including the CMC and deemed universities followed their own procedures in admitting the students. It was only post-NEET they all came for counselling. Following these judgments, hereafter the minorities’ institutions should share their seat matrix and the reservation will be followed,” Vasanthamani said.
When asked about the data on how many minority students were admitted in the last four years in these institutions, she said that the committee is in the process of collecting the data.