The Centre on Thursday announced a 27% quota for other backward classes and 10% reservation for the economically weaker sections under the All-India Quota scheme for undergraduate and postgraduate medical and dental courses.

The quotas will be applicable from the current academic year of 2021-’22. The All-India Quota scheme consists of 15% of the total available undergraduate seats and 50% of all postgraduate seats in government medical colleges.

The decision is expected to benefit 1,500 students from the OBC community studying in MBBS courses and 2,500 of them in postgraduation. Among the economically weaker sections, the move will help 550 students in MBBS courses and 1,000 in postgraduation, the health ministry said in an official release.

The EWS quota is meant for the upper-caste poor. It gives 10% reservation to the economically poor among those not covered by other reservations, which is being called an “upper caste quota”.

“This will immensely help thousands of our youth every year get better opportunities and create a new paradigm of social justice in our country,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a tweet on Thursday afternoon.

In January 2019, the Centre had decided to provide the 10% reservation to economically weaker sections. The quota was introduced through the 103rd Amendment of the Constitution, without affecting 50% reservation being provided to the Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward communities. Applicants from families with an annual income under Rs 4 lakh are eligible for this quota.

The number of seats in medical and dental colleges have been increased since 2019 to accommodate the beneficiaries of this category, the health ministry said. However, the benefit of the 10% quota had not been extended so far.