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Review quota in super speciality courses: SC

Review quota in super speciality courses: SC
Highlights

The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the Central government and all states to make sure that super speciality medical courses are kept \"unreserved, open and free\" following complaints that some states were allowing only domiciled MBBS doctors to appear for entrance exams.

AP, TS confined eligibility to local candidates

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the Central government and all states to make sure that super speciality medical courses are kept "unreserved, open and free" following complaints that some states were allowing only domiciled MBBS doctors to appear for entrance exams.

The Supreme Court held that national interest requires doing away with all forms of reservation in institutions of higher education and urged the Centre to take effective steps “objectively”. The court was dealing with a challenge to domicile-based reservation in super speciality medical courses in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Tamil Nadu.

Coming against the backdrop of how political parties are using the quota word to polarise voters in the ongoing Bihar Assembly elections, this directive is a huge contrast to how reservation is used in vote-bank politics with populism at its core. Justices Dipak Misra and P C Pant said there should not be any form of reservation in such courses on the basis of caste, religion, residence or other criteria.

Senior Advocates Indu Malhotra and BH Marlapalle appeared for the petitioners, while Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi represented the Union government. Senior Advocate Harin P Raval and Advocate Udaya Kumar Sagar represented Telangana while Advocate Guntur Prabhakar appeared for Andhra Pradesh. The Medical Council of India was represented by advocate Gaurav Sharma.

Unlike other states, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Tamil Nadu, confined the eligibility only to the candidates having domicile in their respective states. Andhra Pradesh and Telangana have put such a reservation in place by virtue of a Presidential order, namely, Andhra Pradesh Educational Institutions (Regulations and Admissions) order of 1974 issued under Article 371-D of the Constitution and GOP No 646 dated July, 10, 1979.

In the end, the court turned down the challenge to the said policy vis-a-vis Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, holding that “the undivided State of Andhra Pradesh enjoys a special privilege granted to it under Article 371-D of the Constitution and the Presidential Order.”

At the same time, the court also urged the government to reconsider the policy of reservation with respect to super speciality courses.

Although the petitions pertaining to the States of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana stand dismissed, the one involving Tamil Nadu will be heard separately from November 4 onwards.

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