In J&K, MBBS aspirants avail only 50 percent of EWS seats
“We are robbed of the remaining five percent seats and they are doled out to the other categories which already have reservation,” a candidate said.
Srinagar: The financially disadvantaged aspirants of MBBS seats in J&K are able to stake claim to only half of the seats approved under the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) quota by the Government of India.
Rest of the seats have been distributed under various reserved categories.
The Constitution (103 Amendment) Act, 2019 paved the way for 10 percent reservation in admissions and recruitments for the economically weaker sections.
The Act was subsequently adopted in J&K under SRO 518 2019, facilitating 10 percent reservation in Medical Colleges of the UT apart from making changes in other admissions.
By this measure, in June 2019, 30 seats each were increased in Government Medical College (GMC) Srinagar and GMC Jammu to make admissions under EWS quota. In 2020, 25 seats were in GMC Rajouri.
A senior health official while speaking to Greater Kashmir said that J&K received funds for upgrading infrastructure for the requirements of additional MBBS seats, above and beyond the National Medical Council approved seats.
However, despite the utilization of funds, the aspirants were able to stake claim to just half of the seats that were added to the pool.
A delegation of MBBS aspirants, while speaking to Greater Kashmir, said since 2019, they were allotted only 5 percent of the total MBBS seats, as against 10 percent approved by the Government of India. “We are robbed of the remaining five percent seats and they are doled out to the other categories which already have reservation,” a candidate said.
Another aspirant said, “No SRO or SO or any ruling justifies this unfair distribution of our quota.” He said, “Since 2020, we have been attending the proceedings in the High Court Jammu.”
“We have protested, we have dropped two important years of career due to this issue,” he said, adding that it was high time the J&K government should address the issue. “We want the government to set things right,” he demanded.
Another delegation told Greater Kashmir that BOPEE released the seat matrix “which again carried this miscalculation rather than an intentional error.” “We took action and demanded an updated seat matrix at the earliest but to no avail,” he said. The delegation threatened that they were being forced to approach the Supreme Court if their demands were not addressed.
When Greater Kashmir spoke to Additional Chief Secretary J&K Government, Health and Medical Education, who also holds the additional charge of Chairman Board of Professional Entrance Examinations (BOPEE), he said the issue would be looked into. He refused to comment further on the matter.