Doctors, medical students stage silent protest against reducing PG seats

Mumbai: Doctors and medical postgraduate aspirants of the Lokmanya Tilak Medical, Sion staged a silent protest on Tuesday against the reservations which they claim have reduced the seats of the general category.

This comes after the government’s newly introduced Maratha and EWS (Economically Weaker Section) reservation policies, due to which the post graduation (PG) admissions are on hold.

The medical students said, only four per cent seats in the state are available for the general and unreserved people applying through the state quota. “To satisfy vote banks prior to the polls, the government added the new categories of Maratha and economically backward class in the existing biased quota system,” said a student.

Due to the additional 26 per cent reservation — 16 per cent for Maratha and 10 per cent for EWS, there are only 22 seats for the open category students in government colleges across Maharashtra for PG in surgery. Dr Prathamesh Khedkar, spokesperson of the medical students said, they are not against the reservation system, but when passing reservations, the government should think of all the parties involved.

“There are very limited seats for the medical post-graduate course. And due to the reservations, the number of seats available for the open category students are now reduced to only four per cent. The reservation will impact 50-60 per cent of the students,” said Dr Khedkar.

They have also started a social media campaign against the reservations which have surpassed the 50 per cent quota in the admission process. With hashtags #murderofmerit and #doctoryoudeserve, medical aspirants and their parents are standing strong against the reservation.

Candidates and their parents said, in this situation, the meritorious students are being denied a right to study in the field of their choice, since already there are very few PG medical seats in Maharashtra. A number of parents have moved the court against the reservation and have also threatened to boycott voting in the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections.

“There is nothing against a specific community or reservations in principle. But an important point to be noted here is, if the medical education is not based on merit then what kind of doctors is this system going to produce?” questioned one of the parents.

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