Prime Minister Narendra Modi reviewed the issue of OBC and EWS reservation in the all-India quota of medical education and directed the ministries concerned to resolve it on priority, according to sources.
In a meeting on Monday attended by Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Health and Family Welfare Minister Mansukh Mandaviya, secretaries of education, health and family welfare, law and justice, and social welfare as well as other senior officials, the issue about the two quotas were discussed, the sources said.
It has been a long-standing demand from medical aspirants to give OBC reservations in the all-India quota of medical education. Several litigations have also been made in various courts of the country but the issue has been pending for a long time.
In the review meeting, the PM desired that the issue of OBC reservation in the all-India quota (AIQ) of medical education may be resolved by the ministries concerned on priority, a source said.
The AIQ seats in medicine were created in the direction of the Supreme Court in 1984. All states were required to surrender 15 per cent undergraduate and 50 per cent postgraduate medical and dental seats in state-run colleges to a "central pool" with the rest going to a "state pool".
The "central pool" is the All India Quota (AIQ) and students across the country are eligible to apply for admission to this. The apex court had earlier ruled that the state reservation policy will apply to state seats and the AIQ seats as well.
In total 15 per cent of undergraduate and 50 per cent of postgraduate seats of state government medical colleges are earmarked as all India quota. For admission, SC and ST aspirants have reservations in this quota, but there is no reservation for OBCs.
According to sources, the PM also asked the Health Ministry to review the position of implementation of EWS reservation by various states for medical education. In 2019, the central government had announced 10 per cent reservation in government jobs and higher education for economically weaker sections in the general category.
According to the reply to a written question in Parliament, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare had increased the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) reservation quota in medical colleges to 5,200 MBBS seats.
"These seats have been increased in State Government's Colleges, State Government aided Society run Colleges, Municipal Corporation's Colleges and Colleges set up on Private Public Mode (PPP mode) for the academic session 2019-20," former Minister of State for Health Ashwini Kumar Choubey had said.