The National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) has issued a notice to the Health Ministry for not implementing the 27% reservation, since the 2017 National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), in all India quota seats which are pooled from state colleges. Instead these seats were being transferred to general category which has cost the OBCs around 10,000 seats in the last 3 years.
The notice was issued with regards to a complaint filed by All India Federation of OBC Employees Welfare Association which the NCBC said, “appeared prima facie genuine”. As per the complaint, the government has argued that the 27% reservation is applicable only for central institution seats and not the state colleges as per the Central Educational Institutions Reservations Act. The complaint however, contends that if the seats pooled from state colleges for ‘all-India quota’ had remained in the state quota, the OBCs would have availed of the reservation. The complaint explains this by giving an instance, “In 2020, Tamil Nadu has 1,758 seats under PG courses. Out of this, 879 seats are pooled for all-India quota in which OBCs are not getting any reservation. Had the seats remained in TN, 440 seats would have gone to OBC students.”
Reportedly, out of 9,550 seats under all India quota for 2020, nearly 8,880 seats were pooled from state colleges.
The representation is in the following chart:
NEET is the single window national examination for admission to graduate and post graduate courses in medicine and dental sciences. Under it, 85% seats (state quota) are reserved for state domicile candidates for seats in those states. The remaining 15% seats are pooled from state and central institutions and are open to candidates from across states.
Matter in Supreme Court
Former Union Health Minister and Member of Parliament, Dr. Anbumani Ramadoss, on May 28, moved the Supreme Court seeking implementation of the 27% OBC reservation in medical seats.
The Mandal Commission, in 1980, had concluded that 52% of the population comprised OBCs and recommended 27% reservation for OBC in government jobs and public universities. Accordingly, the central government, in 1990 declared that 27% reservations will be provided to socially and educationally backward classes for jobs in central services and public undertaking. The Supreme Court has also held in previous cases that the 27% reservation is not illegal.
The PMK leader, in his petition, states that the government contends that reservation quota for OBCs is different in different states but the question arises that if SCs and STs can be given reservations in the All-India quota then why not the OBCs?
The plea states, “When the policy of reserving 15%, 705% and 10% of seats to SC, ST and EWS is implemented in totality, the OBC reservation alone was not implemented as per norms. This is against the Parliamentary Act to provide reservation to OBCs. The states that give their seats to Central pool will be unable to fulfil their social commitments to OBCs”.
The petition contended, “Arbitrary moving of seats belonging to the OBC to the general category has violated the fundamental rights guaranteed under Article 15 (4) of the Indian Constitution.”