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Reserved category outshines general at AIIMS Jaya Shroff Bhalla

October 26, 2008: Hindustan Times
For the first time ever, reserved category candidates outpaced general category candidates in the selection process of nurses at the premier All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). What's more, most of them made it on the basis of merit. Of the 1,482 candidates short-listed after written tests, 69.84 per cent reserved category students were selected. There are 362 vacancies for grade II nurses, of which 216 were for reserved categories. In all, 3,087 reserved category students and 3,801 general category students had applied for the post, but the first list reveals a completely revere trend, where reserved category applicants (1,063 students) have made it to the selected candidates list, which is much higher than the general students (434 students). "This is a merit-based list and it does not distinguish between castes. As per govt mandate, all qualifying meritorious students will be treated as general category," said Dr AK Dinda, sub-dean examination, AIIMS. Dr Sunil Chumber, sub dean, administration said that they were following Supreme Court guidelines in the selection process. "All candidates, irrespective of caste, will be given a berth in the general category if they qualify by merit," he said. "For the interview, three times the number of vacancies for both general and reserved categories have been invited," said Dinda. The selection process is will complete by October 20. "The candidates called for interviews are more than the advertised vacancies because we plan to fill up a backlog also, but the figures are still not with us," said Dr Dinda. He also said that the examination committee is still unsure about how many in the vacancies are there for each category in the backlog.
However, the anti-reservation activists are unhappy with the list. "The list clearly shows that there is no need for reservation. The 69.84 per cent clearly shows the calibre of reserved category students. The idea of reservation was to uplift the needy, but from the list it appears that what is now happening is reverse discrimination," said Dr Kumar Harsh, chairman, youth for equality. "This kind of reservation not just bites into general category seats, but also goes against the recent Supreme Court judgment where the judiciary had included a concept of 'educational creamy layer'. Forcing the govt to change the very definition of creamy layer, not just considering family income, but also educational qualification," says Dr Kaushal, general secretary Resident Doctors Association at AIIMS and member YFE.


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