The process of earmarking seats in the open quota for meritorious students from reserved categories has been questioned time and again and this year, a Nanded-based lawyer has once again filed a writ petition in the Bombay high court (HC) against it.
The public interest litigation (PIL) was filed at the Nagpur bench of the Bombay HC on Friday. Filed for ‘Save Merit, Save Nation’, an organisation working against reservation, the petition explains the need to rethink the earmarking process in professional admissions at government as well as private aided and unaided institutes.
According to this rule, a student from the reserved category can opt for a seat in the open category on the basis of merit. However, his seat in reserved category still remains under the same category, leaving fewer seats for students in the open category.
“The earmarking process breaches the constitutional ceiling of 50% reservation in seats as per the reservation policy of India, by occasioning undue benefits to the candidates belonging to reserved categories while entailing unwarranted loss to the candidates belonging to open category,” states the petition.
Several parents and students from the open category across the state are in support of this petition.
“This happens every year and until recently, students from the open category didn’t question the rule. But for the past two years, the government has introduced new reservation quotas in the form of economically weaker sections (EWS) as well as socially and educationally backward classes (SEBC) which has eaten into open category seats. And the earmarking system still persists, leaving open category students with very few seats,” said Pankaj Sharma, father of an MBBS aspirant. He added that seats in the open category pool has been shrinking for past few years, forcing more and more open category students to opt for seats in neighbouring states as well as deemed institutes due to lack of choice.
At present, admissions to undergraduate medical and dental seats are ongoing with the second seat allotment list scheduled to be released on Sunday. Registration for admissions to engineering, law and architecture courses are currently underway on Maharashtra.