New Delhi : Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has taken a historic decision for providing 27% reservation for OBCs and 10% reservation for Economically Weaker Section (EWS) in the all-India Quota from the current academic year 2021-22 onwards.
This decision would benefit every year nearly 1500 OBC students in MBBS and 2500 OBC students in postgraduation and also around 550 EWS students in MBBS and around 1000 EWS students in postgraduation.
All-India Quota (AIQ) Scheme was introduced in 1986 under the directions of the Supreme Court to provide for domicile-free merit-based opportunities to students from any State to aspire to study in a good medical college located in another State. All India Quota consists of 15% of total available UG seats and 50% of total available PG seats in government medical colleges. Initially, there was no reservation in AIQ Scheme up to 2007. In 2007, the Supreme Court introduced reservation of 15% for SCs and 7.5% for STs in the AIQ Scheme. When the Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Admission) Act became effective in 2007 providing for uniform 27% reservation to OBCs, the same was implemented in all the Central Educational Institutions viz. Safdarjung Hospital, Lady Harding Medical College, Aligarh Muslim University and Banaras Hindu University etc. However, this was not extended to the AIQ seats of State medical and dental colleges.
The Union Government has now taken a historic decision to provide for 27% reservation for OBCs and 10% reservation for EWS in the AIQ Scheme. The OBC students from across the country shall now be able to take benefit of this reservation in AIQ Scheme to compete for seats in any State. Being a Central Scheme, the Central List of OBCs shall be used for this reservation.
In order to provide benefit to students belonging to EWS category in admission to higher educational Institutions, a Constitutional amendment was made in 2019 which enabled the provision of 10% reservation for EWS category. Accordingly, seats in medical / dental colleges were increased over two years in 2019-20 and 2020-21 to accommodate this additional 10% EWS reservation so that the total number of seats available for unreserved category do not reduce. In the AIQ seats, however, this benefit had not been extended so far.
This decision is also in sync with the significant reforms carried out in the field of medical education since 2014. During the last six years, MBBS Seats in the country have increased by 56% from 54,348 seats in 2014 to 84,649 seats in 2020 and the number of PG seats have increased by 80% from 30,191 seats in 2014 to 54,275 seats in 2020. During the same period, 179 new medical colleges have been established and now the country has 558 (Govt: 289, Pvt: 269) medical colleges.