EDUCATION: Left plans OBC quota in higher education

EDUCATION: Left plans OBC quota in higher education – but no Universities or Colleges in the Darjeeling Hills or Dooars, plus ‘selected neglect’ the only ‘provenance’ where political gains only to favor Bengal ?!!

FROM THE TELEGRAPH SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT

Calcutta, July 12: The state government is considering a proposal to reserve seats for Other Backward Class (OBC) students in state-aided and state-run general degree colleges and universities from the next academic session.

State higher education minister Sudarshan Ray Chaudhury today told the Assembly that the government had accepted a proposal for the introduction of the OBC quota in higher education from the next academic session, scheduled to begin from July-August 2011.

“A particular percentage of seats are reserved for Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe candidates in undergraduate and postgraduate courses offered by the state-aided colleges and universities in Bengal. Necessary steps are being taken to reserve a certain percentage of seats for OBC candidates as well from the next academic session,” Ray Chaudhury said.

The new system will be implemented in all the undergraduate and postgraduate courses offered by over 450 colleges and 12 universities in Bengal, including Presidency, Calcutta University and Jadavpur University.

Sources said the move was being initiated with an eye on the next Assembly elections, scheduled for May next year. However, given that the undergraduate and postgraduate admissions are held in July and August respectively, the OBC quota is likely to be implemented only after the elections are over.

“There was a long-standing demand for the introduction of the OBC quota in higher education from members of the community. We welcome the move. But it is uncertain whether the decision is going to have any impact on the elections,” a Calcutta University professor said.

At present, 7 per cent of posts in state government services, including teaching and non-teaching posts in schools, colleges and universities, are reserved for OBC candidates. “It is expected that when the proposal is implemented, the state government will reserve 7 per cent seats in higher education institutions for OBC candidates,” a source said.

Ray Chaudhury said the reservation of seats for OBC candidates in medical, engineering and law colleges will have to be done in accordance with reservation policies followed by the agencies regulating them.

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