Explained: What is 70:30 quota in Maharashtra's medical admissions, why was it removed?
New Delhi, Sep 18: Maharashtra Medical Education Minister Amit Deshmukh has recently announced the repealing of the 70:30 regional quota in admission to state medical colleges in favour of 'One Maharashtra, One Merit' principle. The medical fraternity, including student organisations, welcomed the move as the successful conclusion of a long battle for seats in colleges.
What is 70:30 quota?
70:30 quota was a longstanding policy of regional reservation of seats in medical colleges. For the purposes of this quota in admissions, the state was divided into three regions: Marathwada, Vidarbha, and Rest of Maharashtra (RoM). According to 70:30 formula, as many as 70 per cent of seats were reserved for locals, and 30 per cent were available to candidates belonging to other parts of the state.
It can be seen that the number of colleges and the number of seats available in the three regions are different. Marathwada has fewer colleges and fewer seats, which puts students from this region at a disadvantage compared to students availing the 70 per cent quota elsewhere. This would often result in complaints about even meritorious students failing to get admission.
What are the present changes in the policy?
As per the amendments to the 2016 Act published by the state government, all seats shall be made available to all candidates from the state, and shall be filled on the basis of the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) merit list.
Earlier, about 25 per cent seats in unaided private professional educational Institutions would be allotted to candidates from the constitutional reservation category.
Thirty per cent of seats at the disposal of the competent authority shall be reserved for women in all courses. The same provisions will apply to ayurveda, unani, homeopathy, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, prosthetics and orthotics, and B.Sc Nursing courses.
According to officials, there was considerable resentment among people in Marathwada, where medical seats did not increase for many years. The current Minister for Medical Education, Deshmukh, belongs to Latur in Marathwada.
It can be seen that reservation was introduced nearly 20 years ago, when almost all the seats would have been filled by local students only. Due to norms that allowed medical colleges to only admit students from select regions, meritorious students from other zones were deprived of seats in the sought-after colleges in Mumbai, Pune, and Nagpur.