The government landed itself in a spot of bother on Wednesday after it issued consent letters to self-financing medical colleges to apply for an increase in MBBS seats for implementing reservation for the economically weaker sections (EWS), only to nullify them later after realising that the scheme was applicable to government medical colleges alone.
The Medical Council of India (MCI) had commenced steps to implement 10% EWS quota for undergraduate seats in medical colleges across the country this academic year.
To realise the reservation quota, the MCI stipulated the enhancement of total seats by 25% to ensure that the existing number of general and other quota seats remained unaffected.
Following requests for clarification of its guidelines, the MCI issued a circular which emphasised that the EWS quote scheme was applicable to government medical colleges alone.
Unaware of the stipulation, the Health and Family Welfare Department on Tuesday issued a letter granting permission for eight non-minority self-financing medical colleges to apply for seat increase to implement the scheme.
Strangely, consent was provided to Kerala Medical College at Cherupplassery and SR Medical College and Research Centre at Varkala that had been denied approval by the MCI and the Kerala University of Health Sciences.
Anticipating resentment among other colleges, the government soon issued another consent letter for 14 self-financing medical colleges having minority status. The government soon realised its mistake after learning of the MCI guideline that restricted implementation of EWS reservation scheme among government medical colleges.
Left red-faced, the department issued a third communication in which it highlighted the clause and directed the self-financing medical colleges to raise their contentions before the MCI.
In effect, the letter invalidated the ones that were issued earlier.- The Hindu