J&K awaits Parliament nod to fill 85 MBBS seats under EWS quota

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While counseling for undergraduate courses in State’s medical colleges is nearing end, time is running out for J&K Government to start admissions for recently added MBBS seats under Economically Weaker Section (EWS) quota.

With J&K under President’s Rule, the state would require a nod from the Parliament to Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Second Amendment) Bill 2019, which was approved by the State Administrative Council (SAC) last month, to amend the relevant law and start admissions for 85 seats under the EWS quota, said Financial Commissioner Health and Medical Education AtalDulloo.

He said the State has taken up the matter with the Union government. “Once the Act is passed, the reservation rules (Jammu and Kashmir Reservation Rules 2005) will be amended to pave way for admissions,” he said.

The State Administrative Council (SAC), headed by the Governor Satya Pal Malik, approved the bill to amend the Act last month, to incorporate provisions for implementation of the 103rd amendment of Indian Constitution – 10% reservation for EWS in educational institutions.

J&K Board of Professional Entrance Examinations is currently holding counseling for 900 MBBS seats in the medical colleges.

The aspirants fear that delay in starting the admission process could cost them an opportunity to get admission.

“I come from a very poor family. But if I do not opt for a seat in open merit category and agree to pay the fee which my parents can ill-afford, I may not get a seat at all,” an aspirant from the EWS category said. Many other aspirants shared similar apprehensions.

The last date for completion of MBBS admissions is August 12. “The little time”, many aspirants feel, will dart their hopes of securing an MBBS seat under the EWS quota this year.

An official involved in admission process said the EWS candidates would need to get certificates from the authorities before they can apply under the category which itself was a “time consuming process”.

He added although preparation of merit list for the seats would not take much time, the process of verification of eligibility and certification may push the process beyond the deadline.

However, Dulloo said J&K may approach Supreme Court for extension of deadline for admissions under the EWS category if need arises.

“The Social Welfare Department is on the job to get the Act passed. Once that is done, we would try our best to ensure that admission process is carried out this year only,” he said.

Last month, the intake capacity under EWS category in J&K medical colleges was raised by 85 seats – 30 each in Government Medical Colleges (GMC) Srinagar and Jammu and 25 seats in Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS).

In addition, the BDS seats were also increased by 26 seats, 13 each in Government Dental Colleges of Jammu and Srinagar.