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Quota row: Govt looking for alternate formula

The formula is being worked out to increase the number of seats to ensure that the general category remained unaffected.

india Updated: May 19, 2006 14:16 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

Faced with the contentious reservation issue, Government on Friday said a formula is being worked out to increase the number of seats as also institutions to ensure that the general category remained unaffected while implementing the quota.

"Some figures we are working out. Increase the number of seats in the existing institutions and also create new institutions. Financial implications will be worked out," Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee told reporters after a meeting of the group of senior ministers, formed to arrive at a comprehensive package to resolve the quota imbroglio.

Besides Mukherjee, the meeting was attended by HRD Minister Arjun Singh, Finance Minister P Chidambaram as well as Health Minister Anbumani Ramdoss as an invitee.

The group was constituted by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday to hold talks with political parties and academicians for evolving a comprehensive package in the wake of the anti-reservation stir crippling the healthcare services in parts of the country.

Talking broadly about the likely formula, Mukherjee said to implement OBC reservation, the seats in an institution having 100 seats would have to be raised to 154 in order to ensure that the general category seats remained intact.

"Those general category seats which are there today will continue to be same," he said adding that new institutions will also be established.

Asked about any timeframe for the new formula to take shape, Mukherjee said it was only a preliminary idea and "we are trying to put all the views together."

To a question whether he would meeting the striking students, he said that if the students wanted to meet, he would have no problem but there was no request from them on Friday.

Mukherjee said that the Prime Minister would also have discussions with various political groups.

First Published: May 19, 2006 14:16 IST