Tamil Nadu likely to promulgate ordinance for 10% reservation in MBBS for government school students

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An ordinance, providing a 10% “horizontal quota” for students of State government schools in admission to medical courses through the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), is likely to get the approval of the State Cabinet at a meeting on Monday afternoon.

As the “quota within quota” cannot be carried out through an executive order, the government is required to take the ordinance route, a senior official pointed out.

The move follows the submission of a report by a commission headed by former judge of the Madras High Court P. Kalaiyarasan, to Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami last week. In March, the Chief Minister, while announcing his government’s move to set up such a panel, told the Assembly the reservation scheme would be for students who studied from class I to XII in government schools, corporation schools, municipal schools, Kallar reclamation schools and schools run by the Forest Department.

The Chief Minister had acknowledged that the entry of government school students into medical colleges went down drastically after the introduction of the NEET.

To be chaired by the Chief Minister at the Secretariat, the Cabinet meeting will also take stock of the measures taken to tackle the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in the State.

In May 1997, the DMK government ordered the creation of “special and horizontal” reservation of 15% of seats in professional courses for students studying in schools in village panchayats. In June 2001, the AIADMK government increased the quantum to 25%. In February 2002, the Madras High Court declared the quota scheme unsustainable.

However, in September 2007, the DMK regime enacted a legislation, earmarking 3.5% exclusively for Muslims in education and employment within the overall quota of 30% for Backward Classes (BC). Since April 2009, Arunthathiars within the 18% reservation for Scheduled Castes are being given 3% quota.

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