Today's Paper

Reserved classes forge ahead

Large chunk of seats in open category will go to students from backward sections

K. Ramachandran

CHENNAI: When counselling for single window admissions to government medical colleges begins on Wednesday, it will be a revealing occasion for those coming from the reserved categories.

A large chunk of seats in the open competition will go to the reserved classes, showing the increasing academic maturity of candidates hailing from the socially and economically backward sections to enter the MBBS course.

Tamil Nadu has 12 government medical colleges (including the new Vellore Medical College with 100 seats, but excluding the Thoothukudi Medical College) with 1,445 seats; 15 per cent of this (216 seats) will go to the all-India quota and 43 seats for special reservation category such as wards of freedom fighters and ex-servicemen, besides physically disabled. This leaves 1,186 seats for single window admissions (OC-368, BC-356, MBC-237, SC-213 and ST-12 seats). However, the authorities have sent call letters to 1,415 students (OC-430; BC-425; MBC-285; SC-260; and ST-15).

But it is known that the first BC category student has a BC rank of 322; the first MBC category student is ranked 58 in that category; and the first SC candidate is number 15 in this category.

This means that 321 BC students, 57 MBC students and 14 SC students will get into the open competition.

Education analyst Jayaprakash Gandhi says that students from the so-called forward classes are clearly not keeping pace with the competition from the BC/MBC/SC contenders. Or it could be that they are moving to the all-India quota or all-India competitive examinations in medicine and engineering such as AIIMS and IIT, he says.

He says that less than 40 students from the forward classes will get into MBBS this year, a number that can go up if the Government gets approval for the Thoothukudi college in time. On the move to do away with the common entrance examinations to benefit rural students (who are unable to get specialised coaching for the examination), R. Madhavan, Chennai-based doctor, says politicians should realise that the villain of the piece is not the CET or the courts but the reservation policy. Strict enforcement of the `creamy layer' policy as set out by the Supreme Court could see that the benefits of the reservation reached both the urban and rural poor.

Recommended for you