More than 80% of the qualifying candidates from Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes in the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test cleared the cut-off meant for general category students as well, The Telegraph reported on Thursday.
Of the 3.76 lakh Other Backward Class students who qualified, 3.12 lakh or 83% cleared the general category cut-off of 50th percentile. Among the candidates from Scheduled Castes, 79,881 of the 99,890 students who qualified would have qualified even if they were in the general category. Of the 35,272 candidates from the Scheduled Tribes who qualified, 26,817 cleared the 50th percentile cut-off.
The cut-off for students in the reserved categories is the 40th percentile.
The results of the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test were declared on Wednesday. The National Testing Agency conducted the test on May 5 and May 20 for admissions to undergraduate medical and dental courses.
Delhi University Professor Kesav Kumar said it was a “positive point” that Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe and Other Backward Class students were qualifying under the general merit cut-off. “But it does not mean they would not face discrimination on campuses,” Kumar told The Telegraph. “The institutional environment and work environment have discriminatory practices. That must end.”
In the most recent incident of discrimination, Payal Tadvi, who belonged to the Bhil Adivasi community, committed suicide on May 22 after allegedly facing casteist abuse from three senior doctors at the Topiwala National Medical College in Mumbai, where she worked.
Kumar said SC, ST and OBC students who would have also qualified in the general category are most likely to have studied in schools in urban areas where English is the medium of instruction. “The students from deprived sections in the rural areas still need support to qualify,” he told The Telegraph.