NEET 2021: Anxieties Grow As J&K Adopts 15 Percent All India Reservation Quota
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NEET: Anxieties Grow As J&K Adopts 15 Percent All India Reservation Quota
Srinager — Medical seats in Jammu & Kashmir colleges, which were restricted to local students till recently, have been opened to applicants from mainland India via the National Eligibility and Entrance Test (NEET), raising concerns among the locals.
Jammu & Kashmir, which was categorised as a union territory in October 2019 after the abrogation of erstwhile state’s Special Status, has agreed to adopt the 15 per cent All India Quota (AIQ) each medical college has for students from outside a certain state/union territory. Additional Chief Secretary Vivek Bhardwaj announced that from this year, J&K will pool 15 per cent of its MBBS seats in the All India reservation quota.
The adoption of a 15 per cent quota is making residents in Jammu & Kashmir anxious amid larger worries that the scrapping of Article 370 and Article 35A will fuel a surge of outsiders into the union territory.
Dr Junaid Yousuf, a Medical Officer said that the 15 per cent quota is sheer injustice to the younger generation of doctors as well as to the people of J&K.
The seats pooled to AIQ will be utilized by people outside of the state. The candidates will leave after completing their degrees, leading to a vacuum of specialists in the state, he said.
The vast majority of people in J&K are dependent on public health care which includes govt. hospitals. Since there is no mandatory bond to serve after completion of post-graduation in J&K, half of the candidates after completion of post-graduation will leave the state leading to a crisis in already strained public healthcare and worsening of doctor-patient ratio. So in the larger interests of people of J&K, the govt should take a relook into the matter.”
In other states of mainland India, such as in Uttar Pradesh, a student will have to sign a 10-year work bond if he chooses to do PG in UP, while someone from UP will take his PG degree after 3 years and fly back to UP.
The National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) is the entry-level entrance examination for all undergraduate (NEET-UG) as well as postgraduate (NEET-PG) medical and dental courses in India.
Until 2016, the All-India Pre-Medical Test (AIPMT) was the national-level entrance examination for medical colleges, while state governments used to hold separate entrance tests for seats that were not contested at an all-India level. NEET was held for the first time in 2013. It was discontinued the following year.
Then Chief Justice of India Altamas Kabir and Justice Vikramjit Sen had said that NEET would deprive the states—state-run universities and medical colleges—including those enjoying the constitutional protection (Jammu and Kashmir), of their right to admit students to MBBS, BDS and postgraduate courses as per their own procedures, beliefs and dispensations.
On April 13, 2016, the Supreme Court upheld the newly introduced section 10-D of the Indian Medical Council Act. Section 10D of the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 mandates conducting a uniform entrance examination—namely NEET—to all medical educational institutions at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. It said that the provisions of the Act to conduct NEET will apply across the country without any exemption.
Jammu and Kashmir had been retaining all its seats for local students and opting out of the All India quota. Aspirants from J&K seeking admission in the All India Quota were required to file an undertaking that they will not stake a claim at the reserved seats in J&K.
Presently there are 180 seats each in GMC Jammu and GMC Srinagar, 100 each in GMC Kathua, Doda, Baramulla and Anantnag, 115 in GMC Rajouri and 125 in SKIMS Medical College Bemina. In addition, 100 MBBS seats in ASCOMS Jammu.
J&K residents see the incorporation of AIQ as suppressive and said that the government takes decisions without consulting the local stakeholders. “My brother appeared for NEET and scored 500. Many of his friends from UP and Delhi scored way more than him but they weren’t able to secure a seat in their states due to heavy competition and high cut off. But, due to reservation, they made it to J&K,” Mehdi Saleem, a local resident said.
He said that it seems unfair that the people with lower merit are getting admission, but that’s what NEET gives you. “The introduction of AIQ in Jammu and Kashmir is primarily aimed at changing the demography of our land.”