“Quota based on population of respective regions wrong”

A committee consisting of all Members of Legislative Assembly will be constituted shortly to look into the demand to review the regional reservations being followed for admission to medical and engineering colleges in Puducherry region, Public Works Minister M.O.H.F. Shahjahan, who also holds the Collegiate Education portfolio, told the Assembly on Monday.

Replying to a calling attention motion moved by MLA S.P. Sivakumar, the Minister said the committee would be formed soon for taking up elaborate discussions on the demand to review the regional reservations.

“We had introduced the regional reservation for students belonging to Karaikal, Mahe and Yanam with the objective of establishing equal opportunities for higher education and remove disparities. Now that a few problems have been raised, we will set up the committee with all MLAs, take up elaborate discussion and come up with a clear decision. This will be done before the beginning of the forthcoming academic year,” he said.

Presently, there was regional reservation of 18 per cent for students of Karaikal, four per cent for Mahe and three per cent for Yanam for admission to medical and engineering colleges in Puducherry region.

This reservation was arrived at based on the population of the respective regions according to Census 2001.

This, according to Mr. Sivakumar, was totally wrong as there was no relation between the population and reservation of seats in professional colleges. There is no reservation for Puducherry region.

“Students from Puducherry, especially government school students from rural areas, are badly affected by this regional reservation. Several deserving students, who had secured high marks than those from the other three regions, were denied seats of desired course/college,” he argued. He said that many students from other regions had secured admission despite scoring low marks and called for withdrawal of regional reservation.

The issue created a ruckus in the Assembly with Opposition Leader A.M.H. Nazeem, MLA P.R. Siva and Revenue Minister Malladi Krishna Rao raising objections to the demand for withdrawing the regional reservation citing that the regions were educationally backward.

Mr. Nazeem urged the government to take steps to see if the quota for other States students in Puducherry colleges could be withdrawn.