Supreme Court stops Maharashtra EWS quota: background of the case, explained

Supreme Court stops Maharashtra EWS quota: background of the case, explained

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SC stops Maharashtra EWS quota: background of the case, explained

The decision by the Vacation Bench of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Aniruddha Bose may provide some relief to students in the open general category whose claim to post-graduate seats in medicine has been drastically reduced due to a series of reservations.

The order has categorically stated that the 10per cent EWS quota cannot be granted at the cost of others unless additional seats are created by Medical Council of India.

The Supreme Court on Thursday said that the 10 per cent EWS quota cannot be applied to PG medical courses in Maharashtra for the academic year 2019-20 as admission process started long before the provision came into force.

The order has categorically stated that the 10per cent EWS quota cannot be granted at the cost of others unless additional seats are created by Medical Council of India (MCI)

The decision by the Vacation Bench of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Aniruddha Bose may provide some relief to students in the open general category whose claim to post-graduate seats in medicine has been drastically reduced due to a series of reservations.

Out of a total of 972 seats in government medical colleges in the state, only 233 seats are available for general category students. Fifty per cent, or 486 seats, are reserved for SC/ST/ VJNT/OBC under the usual reservation quotas, while another 16 per cent, or 156 seats, have now been kept for Socially and Educationally Backward Class reservation, following the Ordinance of the state government to introduce this quota from this year itself.

The 10 per cent quota for economically weaker sections, announced by the central government earlier this year, amounts to another 97 seats.

The Constitution (124th) Amendment Bill on providing 10 per cent reservations in jobs and education to the general category poor was passed by the Parliament on January 9. Now to bring the 10 per cent EWS quota in PG seats across government medical colleges in the country, the Medical Council of India had written to the states to provide details of course wise PG seats.

However the state decided to implement the EWS quota from this academic session. Aggrieved students who challenged this decision contended that it was discriminatory as it had taken the overall reservation to 76 per cent, leaving very few seats in the open category. Here the students also had to contend with the Socially and Economically Backward Class (SEBC) quota.

Medical students, and some of their parents, have been protesting in Mumbai and Pune against these reservations, and demanding that, at least, the number of seats in government colleges be increased so that meritorious students in the general category are also accommodated according to their ranks.