27% reservation for OBC 10% for EWS in medical courses

Maharashtra: Fake certificates racket to corner PG medical seats

June 8, 2020

In Maharashtra, admissions to the state’s (post graduate) PG medical colleges have been rocked by cases of several affluent students submitting fake certificates to avail admissions under quotas meant for students belonging to the economically weak section (EWS), other backward class (OBC) and those from socially and educationally backward classes (SEBC). Several of these students who reportedly made it to the state’s CET first round of selected candidate lists to the NEET-PG on May 15 are now being investigated by the state’s Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER).  

This year the number of MD (doctor of medicine), MS (master of surgery) and PG diploma programmes in private medical colleges are 619 while that in government colleges are 1179.  With 72 percent reservations applicable non-quota seats make up as little as 311 of the 1179 seats in government medical colleges. Last year the state’s then Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) government introduced 12 percent reservations for the Maharashtra’s Maratha community under the SEBC Act (June 2019).  With the BJP government at the centre also introducing 10 percent reservations for EWS students in January 2019, quotas in medical programmes touched 72 percent – way higher than the Supreme Court’s landmark 1992 Indira Sawhney & Ors vs Union of India judgement that capped all quotas at 50 percent.

The state’s 14 government PG medical colleges which provide subsidised education with tuition fees at Rs 1 lakh per annum cf. Rs 7-15 lakh per year in private medical colleges have always been in demand. Students looking to avail EWS, OBC and SEBC quotas need to submit their income tax and salary details to the district tehsildar’s office as proof of the family’s income being below Rs 8 lakh. Those applying for OBC and SEBC categories need to submit an additional non-creamy layer certificate too. Desperate to get admitted into government colleges, students belonging to affluent households have been found to submit certificates showing lower income.    

“Some of these students’ parents are specialist doctors themselves. However, students manage to get the Maharashtra PG medical colleges fake certificates deliberately showing lower income or refraining from giving details of land and property they own. These students are depriving the really needy students of reservations colluding with agents,” says Dr Dhairya Thakkar who is part of the team that complained to the DMER and the state’s Common Entrance Test cell (MHT- CET).

While the DMER has initiated an enquiry against 27 students there are another 30 suspect cases that need to be looked into, say aspirants spearheading the campaign against the Maharashtra PG medical colleges fake certificates. Campaigners have demanded the DMER revoke admissions of those found guilty and conduct stringent checks on every aspirant’s family income before admitting them.

Dipta Joshi

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