The Director of Medical Education (DME) has refuted allegations that this year's medical postgraduate seats distribution had violated the Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe reservation norms.

It had been represented by various quarters before the Directorate of Medical Education that as per norms,10 per cent of the total Medical PG seats should have been reserved for the Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe.

Of the total of 219 seats available this year, the Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe should have been given 22 seats, but, instead, the number of seats had gone down to 13 this year as per the seat distribution list published by the DME on April 13.

Those representing the cause of Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe reservation had argued that the seats allocated for the general merit quota as well as the service quota had gone up this year as the total number of medical PG seats had gone up from 152 to 219.

However, it was only in the case of Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe that they had not get the benefit of the increase in the total number of PG seats. I

Instead, they even lost one seat from the quota that had been originally allocated to them, it was pointed out.

However, when contacted , DME V. Geetha clarified that the quota norms for Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe had not been violated but that this year, the implementation of the Service Quota Bill introduced by the Government and the new quota allocated for Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC, formerly, the OBC) had changed the distribution pattern.

As per the Service Quota Bill, 40 per cent of the total Medical PG seats in the State would be reserved for doctors working in the Health Services and any other reservation or quota could be considered only after the Service Quota norms were fulfilled, Dr. Geetha said.

Accordingly, after reserving 40 per cent of the total seats for those in the Health Services, 50 per cent of the remaining seats would be distributed under the General Merit quota and the rest would be given as Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe quota, she added.

“Earlier, 10 per cent of the total seats were reserved for Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe. Now that the Service Quota Bill has been implemented, the Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe would get 10 per cent of the seats remaining after fulfilling the service quota norms.