16% Maratha quota for PG courses: Governor signs ordinance, top medical colleges left with few open category seats.
Top colleges such as Seth GS Medical College (KEM) have only 31 of 126 postgraduate seats left for open category students. A stream like gynaecology now has two available seats for open category in JJ Hospital — KEM has three and Sion hospital, two.
Governor Vidyasagar Rao on Monday signed the ordinance approving 16 per cent reservation for the Maratha community in admissions for postgraduate medical courses. In top colleges, medical streams such as orthopaedics, psychiatry and gynaecology now have less than a dozen seats for open category applicants.
Around 2,000 open category aspirants have been protesting against the state government’s decision to implement 16 per cent reservation for social and educationally backward castes (SEBC) and 10 per cent for economically weaker sections (EWS). They said it did not add more seats before implementing reservation, jeopardising hundreds of careers. “We will approach the SC against the state’s decision,” said MBBS graduate Shraddha Subramanian.
On May 9, the Supreme Court upheld the ruling of the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court, stating that SEBC and EWS reservations were not applicable for the current academic year, as they were announced after the National Entrance cum Eligibility Test (NEET) exam was held. A week later, the state Cabinet approved the ordinance to implement 16 per cent reservation.
Danish Anees, who scored state rank 656 in this year’s NEET, said, “Last year, a student with rank 663 secured a seat in chest TB in Grant Medical College. I cannot get that branch because of the way reservation has been applied.”
Grant Medical College has four seats in chest TB, of which only one is available for open category students. Across the state, there are 18 PG seats for chest TB and respiratory diseases, of which 12 are reserved for SEBC, SC, ST and EWS, leaving four for open category students.
With no new seats added this year, there is fierce competition amongst those with good ranks. Maharashtra has 21 government postgraduate medical colleges and institutes. Of 972 seats, 233 are available for at least 2,000 students under open category. There are 156 seats for 213 Maratha students and 97 seats for 87 EWS students.
Ojas Shah, who secured state rank 646, wants to pursue orthopaedics. “Despite hard work and a good rank, my chances are thin this year,” said Shah.
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