Maratha Reservation: Postgraduate students protest cancellation of seats for medical, dental courses

Mumbai: Around 206 students who secured admissions for postgraduate (PG) courses in medical and dental colleges under the Maratha quota staged a protest on Monday at Azad Maidan over the decision to eliminate the reservation policy for 2019-20.

Their admissions stood cancelled as the Supreme Court (SC) had upheld the decision of the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court (HC) to consider quota reservation inapplicable for admissions to medical and dental colleges for the current academic year. In the first merit list, 178 students secured seats in medical colleges under the Maratha quota, while 28 got admitted to dental colleges. But now, these admissions will have to be cancelled.

Students will now have to seek admissions again under the open category or under the socially and economically backward class (SEBC). Medical students seeking admission in the open category have repeatedly opposed the Maratha quota. The decision of the HC and SC has come after these repeated protests.

Sudha Shenoy, spokesperson of the medical students’ parent association, said, “We are not against Maratha quota but we want 50 per cent reservation for students in the open category. If this 50 per cent seats allotted for open category students are affected by any kind of quota reservation, then we will oppose it.” Of the total seats, 50 per cent are for constitutional reservation, including SC/ST/OBC/NT and other categories.

The remaining 50 per cent is for the open category. But from this allocation, around 16 per cent seats were reserved for Maratha quota under the SEBC and 10 per cent for those from the economically weak sections (EWS) in medical and dental colleges. Students of the Maratha quota claim it is unfair to cancel their admissions.

Vishal Purandare, a student, said, “We have already secured admissions and it is unjust to cancel it now. We will protest as we want the chief minister to look into this matter.” While, Prerna Kapadia, a student, said, “Many students from the open category have lost their seats due to these quota reservation.

It is unfair to us if these quota admissions are not cancelled. These students who have secured admissions under Maratha quota are just trying to gain sympathy as they were well aware that their admissions were subject to the ongoing court cases.”

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