PIL opposes Maharashtra govts decision on reservation in medical courses

October 18, 2014

Public Health Organisation, an NGO, has filed a public interest litigation in the Bombay High Court challenging Maharashtra government's decision to provide 16 percent reservation to Marathas and 5 percent qouta to Muslims in MBBS and post-graduate medical courses. The PIL, filed by PHO chief I S Gilada, was mentioned before a division bench which had on October 14 allowed the petitioner to carry out certain amendments and clubbed this matter with other petitions challenging the reservations for Marathas and Muslims. The petition is expected to be heard on November 5 along with other petitions on the reservation issue. Gilada's PIL highlights a sharp reduction in the number of post-graduate course seats in the state. Maharashtra is the only state which has introduced `earmarking in constitutional reservations', where reserved category candidates in merit list are given seats of open category even though they may have applied in the reserved category. This takes away another 20 percent of open seats, leaving just 30 percent to the open category, says the PIL. The Maratha and Muslim quotas will leave less than 15 per cent seats for Open General Category, it says. It alleges Medical Council of India's "haphazard" policy and favouring of private colleges has led to shortage in PG seats. Meanwhile, the High Court directed the state to consider increasing the retirement age of teachers at medical colleges from 62 to 70, which is one of the issues raised in the PIL, and file its reply.

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