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Quota will cover AIIMS, med schools

THE 27 per cent quota for other backward classes will also be introduced in medical colleges funded by the Centre from the academic session beginning 2007.

india Updated: Apr 08, 2006 11:54 IST

THE 27 per cent quota for other backward classes will also be introduced in medical colleges funded by the Centre from the academic session beginning  2007.

"Medical colleges are part of the central government-funded educational institutions and will introduce a quota for OBCs along with IITs and IIMs as proposed by the Human Resource Development Ministry," says Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss.

Also on Friday, HRD Minister Arjun Singh indicated that central universities may not get additional admission seats for the 27 per cent OBC quota. The IITs and IIMs may, however, get more seats as the Planning Commission has already sanctioned money for the additional intake for the current financial year.

Of the 242 medical colleges in the country, 113 are run by the government. Of these, six are funded by the Centre -- AIIMS, Mahavir Medical College (Safdarjang Hospital) and Lady Hardinge in Delhi, PGI Chandigarh, LGPGI Lucknow and JIPMER
Pondicherry.

Under the new proposal, the total reservation in medical colleges will go up from the existing 22.5 per cent (for SC and ST students) to 49.5 per cent.

"We support reservation in colleges but we're still in the process of formulating a policy governing medicinal colleges," says health secretary Prasanna Hota.

Health Ministry sources say apart from MBBS, the reservation will include postgraduate courses like MD and MS. The Indian Medical Association (IMA) opposes the move and plans to write to the government, requesting it not sacrifice merit to populist politics.

"Merit cannot be ignored because we're talking about people who're trained to save lives several times a day," says Dr Sanjiv Malik, national president, IMA. "The government wants to give a quota to help reserved candidates get into MD and MS courses too. It's criminal, and I strongly feel it's stretching it too far."