New Delhi, Feb.25 : Union Health and Family Welfare Minister A. Ramadoss today widened the ambit of reservations, by saying that the Government will introduce quota for SC/ST candidates for admission to undergraduate medical and dental courses from this year under the All India entrance examination.
"We have decided to introduce quota for SC/ST students in the Under Graduate courses for the All India examination, Ramadoss told reporters on the sidelines of a function in New Delhi on Monday.
"Last year we had introduced a similar quota for Post Graduate entrance examinations," he said.
Officials said the Health Ministry has issued directions to the Director General of Health Services (DGHS) to implement 15 percent reservation for Scheduled Castes and 7.5 percent for Scheduled Tribes in the exams conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE).
"Nearly 700 students in both PG and Under Graduate courses would benefit from this year," he said, adding that the total number of seats would not be increased.
In 2007, the total MBBS/BDS seats were 2,075, which were filled up on the basis of merit exclusively.
The decision was taken after the Supreme Court, hearing an application in this regard filed by the Health Ministry, left it to the Centre to take a policy decision on the matter.
Seats in government medical and dental colleges across the country that are under the All India quota are filled up on the basis of the All India Entrance Examination.