Ramadoss felicitated by parliamentary forum

March 18th, 2008 - 11:04 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Anbumani Ramadoss

New Delhi, March 18 (IANS) Union Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss was Tuesday felicitated by the Parliamentary Forum for the Scheduled Castes (SC) here for taking steps to ensure reservation of seats for SC/ST candidates seeking to join post-graduate and graduate level medical/dental courses. “The issue of giving reservation to the SC and Scheduled Tribes (ST) categories under the All India Quota is just a beginning. It should have been done 23 years ago,” said the minister while speaking at the ceremony.

Ramadoss, who was honoured by the World Health Organisation (WHO) for his anti-tobacco stand, said the SC/ST candidates were still fighting for their rights.

Ramadoss sought the apex court’s permission to introduce reservation for SC/ST candidates against post-graduate medical/dental seats under All India Quota.

The court agreed to the proposal and the health ministry issued orders last year and the reservation has been implemented for the PG seats from the academic year 2007.

“To push this reservation, I had to fight first with my department and then the judiciary. I had to assert my right,” Ramadoss said.

In 2007, out of 3,248 medical and dental post-graduate seats allocated under the All India Quota, 15 percent were earmarked for Scheduled Castes candidates and 7.5 percent for Scheduled Tribes candidates.

The actual allocation for SC/ST candidates was 526 and 193 respectively and a total of 719 SC/ST candidates benefited from the reservation.

The minister this year also moved another application in the apex court for introducing similar reservation for graduate level medical and dental seats under the All India Quota.

The Supreme Court left it to the government to take a policy decision in the matter.

Following this, the health ministry decided to implement reservation for SC/ST candidates for admission to the undergraduate courses under the All India Quota. The reservation will come into effect from this year.

The move would help 1,184 SC/ST students.

Referring to his bitter fight with former All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) director P. Venugopal, Eamadoss said the whole issue was also about social justice.

“Young innocent doctors belonging to SC/ST were shunted to separate floors and not allowed even to play games,” he said.

He demanded reservation in private sector for SC, ST and other backward caste (OBC) candidates.

“They have to organise and raise their voice and the government has to listen them. Not because it’s an obligation, but it’s their right,” Ramadoss added.

Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, Deputy Lok Sabha Speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal, R.K. Nayak, chairman of the parliamentary forum were also present at the ceremony.

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