Centre not in favour of reservation for government school students in medical admissions
While the reservation for government school students in Tamil Nadu was provided through legislation by the state government, the Puducherry Cabinet forwarded the proposal to the Lieutenant Governor.
CHENNAI: The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Thursday informed the Madras High Court that it is not in favour of granting horizontal reservation to government school students in medical admissions since it may "undo reform of merit-based admissions."
The reply also said, "Any artificial horizontal reservation is likely to create abnormal incentives/disincentives affecting pre-medical education... which will not be desirable.”
The ministry also pointed out that the"...7.5% horizontal reservation provided for government school pass out students to medical admission in Tamil Nadu had been provided through legislation enacted by the state government and no reference had been made to the Centre for information/concurrence in the matter."
The Ministry made its submissions before Justice B Pugalendhi who was hearing the petition filed by a student Subbulakshmi of Puducherry seeking to approve the scheme of introducing 10% horizontal reservations for students from government schools within the Union Territory of Puducherry for admissions to MBBS and BDS courses.
The Puducherry Cabinet approved the exclusive reservation and forwarded the same to lieutenant governor Kiran Bedi. But the LG, in turn, referred the matter to the central government differing with the view of the elected Puducherry government.
The limited reply that was filed by the Centre through Ravi Ranjan, deputy commandant, ministry of home affairs was submitted by the Additional Solicitor General of India R Sankaranarayanan.
The reply also said the ministry had acted promptly on the reference made by the LG and the CM of Puducherry and had sought inter-ministerial consultations for taking an informed decision.
The decision of the Union territory cabinet diluted the merit of NEET by providing a separate quota for students of government schools, it emphasised.
Also the provision of reservation"... may lead to similar/ other demands from other states undoing the reform of merit-based education."
“It is pertinent to mention here that the ministry of health vide an office memorandum dated December 10, 2020, while disagreeing with the proposal for granting horizontal reservation to students from government schools in the state quota seats in admission to medical courses, conveyed that medical education is under the concurrent list,” the reply said.
The counsel for the central government sought time in filing a detailed report. The judge recording the submissions adjourned the hearing to February 25.