The Medical Council of India (MCI), Ministry of Health, the Centre and the state government were asked by the Bombay high court on Thursday to file their responses on a public interest litigation (PIL) alleging that the number of medical seats in government colleges had reduced.
The PIL was filed by a city-based NGO, People’s Health Organisation (PHO) in 2008, which alleged that the number of medical seats in government colleges had dropped by 80%. The PIL wants the state to restore the original number of seats. A division bench of chief justice Mohit Shah and justice DG Karnik on Thursday asked the respondents to file their responses by April 28.
The co-petitioners, Dr IS Gilada and Dr Trupti Gilada (who is currently a post graduate student at KEM Hospital) states that there has been a sharp reduction in the number of medical post graduate seats offered by the MCI after 2001, when the teacher-student ratio was arbitrarily halved from 1:2 to 1:1.
Since 2003, 50% of total seats go to the all-India pool. Of the remaining, 50% are allocated to constitutional reservations.
In addition, Maharashtra is the only state to introduce a clause “Earmarking in constitutional reservations”, whereby reserved category candidates who appear in the merit list are given seats from the open category, even though they are eligible for seats from the reserved category.
This takes away another 20% of seats in the open category, leaving 30% of state quota or 15% of total seats.