State CET Cell cancels seats allotted under EWS quota

Says admissions of other candidates will not be affected

Following the Supreme Court verdict that stayed the 10% Economically Weaker Section (EWS) quota in Maharashtra, the State Common Entrance Test (CET) Cell on Thursday cancelled the seats allotted under the quota, while holding that the admissions of all other candidates will not be affected.

On February 12, the government of Maharashtra had decided to implement the 103rd Constitutional Amendment through a Government Resolution (GR), stating that the quota will be applied from this year. On March 7, another GR issued by the Department of Medical Education and Drugs said that the quota will be applicable for this year.

While the petitioners had moved the Bombay High Court earlier, they approached the SC on May 1, an intervention was filed by another city-based petitioner in the apex court, asking it to squash the EWS quota specifically for this year.

On Thursday, the CET Cell notified aspirants that the seats allocated under previous rounds in the EWS category will now be treated under the open category. While the seats will be filled as per the rules of the National Eligbility-cum-Entrance Test PG/MDS – 2019 information brochure, the Cell informed that the institute-level admission process for private unaided, minority medical and dental colleges will remain unchanged.

Open category candidates, however, called it an injustice. “There is no benefit for the candidates as they have already applied for the Diplomate of National Board or All India seats. They have staked claim of their seats as there was no clarity about what would happen amid the court cases. Open category candidates should have been allowed to upgrade their seats. They have stated that other allocations will not be disturbed now, so there is no benefit for the candidates,” said Sudha Shenoy, a parent from the Save Merit group.

Anand Rayate, CET Cell Commissioner, said that the EWS seats now considered as part of the open category will be allocated to the students still in the admission process for vacant seats as per their merit. He said, “The EWS seats now come as open seats. Those students who have got admission shall report on Friday to colleges where they have been placed. If they want to accept their seats, they shall, if not, they will be losing their seats. EWS candidates are now considered open candidates. Those students who are out of the admission process cannot be considered, as it is now in our law.”

The open candidates are now contemplating moving the SC with a redirection petition, seeking further directions regarding re-counselling and an extension of the deadline to accommodate Thursday’s order. “Many candidates have already left the process because they were not getting the seats of their choice and now they will be completely excluded from the process. If the March 7 notification is illegal, the seat matrix was prepared on the basis of the same is illegal. And if there has to be a new seat matrix, there has to be a new choice filling,” an open category aspirant said.

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