Regretting that some “privilege remains unchanged” even after 68 years of independence, the Supreme Court held Tuesday stated that national interest requires doing away with all forms of reservation in institutions of higher education, and urged the Centre to take effective steps “objectively”. A bench of Justices noted that despite several reminders to the central and state governments to make merit the primary criteria for admissions into super-specialty courses, the ground reality remains that reservation often holds sway over merit.

While dealing with the issue of reservation in super-specialty courses in medical institutions, the top court had said “there should really be no reservation” since it is in the general interest of the country for improving the standard of higher education, and thereby improving the quality of available medical services to the people of India.

The bench said it is now “inclined” to convey the message to the central and state governments over reservation in institutions of higher education. It also referred to a body of judgments, asking government authorities to abstain from relaxing the eligibility criteria basing it on various kinds of reservation since it would defeat the very object of imparting the best possible training to selected meritorious candidates.

The bench made these observations as it delivered its judgment on a batch of petitions, which had challenged an eligibility criteria for admissions into certain super-specialty medical courses in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Tamil Nadu. They allowed only those having a domicile in the three states to appear for the examination, thereby making the seats reserved only for such candidates, based on residence.

The bench said it cannot interfere with the admission process in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana since a Presidential Order has created an exception and the constitutionality of this Order has not been challenged. But it agreed to examine on November 4 whether Tamil Nadu could do the same and allow this form of reservation in a post-graduate program.

 

Source: The Indian Express

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