High Court stays PG dental admissions after aspirants challenge seat distribution
The Nagpur bench of Bombay high court (HC) on Thursday stopped the college allotment list for postgraduate dental courses, which was expected on Friday, after three candidates challenged the distribution of seats among various caste categories. The interim order could set a precedent and further defer an already-delayed admission process. The court will now hear the matter on Wednesday.
Dental course aspirants Shivani Raghuvanshi, Pranali Charde and Sanjana Wadewale, in separate petitions filed on Tuesday and Wednesday, had argued that the state government used different methods to reserve seats for socially and educationally backward castes (SEBC) or Marathas and other reserved categories in private colleges. They also contended that the SEBC quota couldn’t be applied to dental admissions as the admission process had begun before the state introduced the Maratha quota. Appearing for PG dental students, Ashwin Deshpande said, “The SEBC seats should also be distributed from available seats so that there’s an increase in the number of seats for general category students.”
On Thursday, justices Sunil Shukre and Pushpa Ganediwala said, “There shall be no publication of first selection list scheduled for its publication on 5th April, 2019 so far as NEET MDS courses are concerned.”
With no provision for caste-based reservation in institutional and NRI quota seats (which are allotted at the institute’s discretion) in private colleges, all the seats for the new Maratha quota have been drawn from the remaining 50% merit seats. The quotas for scheduled castes (SC), scheduled tribes (ST), other backward castes (OBC), vimukta jatis (VJ), nomadic tribes (NT) and economically weaker section (EWS) have also been calculated on 50% merit seats.
However, in government colleges, the SEBC reservation (16%) has been applied only on 50% state quota seats as the rest are filled by the Centre’s Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS). This has effectively brought down the Maratha quota to 8% of all seats. According to the seat matrix issued by the state common entrance test (CET) cell, 61 out of 383 (16%) seats in private colleges and 5 out of 76 (7%) seats in government dental colleges are reserved for Marathas.