A group of over 300 citizens, including MPs, activists, teachers, lawyers and students, on Sunday flagged that medical aspirants belonging to the Other Backward Class were not getting reservation for admission to colleges. They demanded that the Centre compensate them for the seats that they have lost.

The signatories, including Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mevani and Tamil Nadu Congress leader S Jothimani, said in their statement that private and government colleges are required to reserve 15% of their seats in the undergraduate courses to a common central pool called the All India Quota (AIQ). For postgraduate courses, the percentage of seats reserved by these colleges for the quota is 50%. They, however, alleged that fewer seats were being reserved for OBC students.

“In 2017-18, only 69 seats (1.7%) out of a total of 4,064 seats were reserved for the OBCs in the undergraduate programmes like MBBS and BDS while, as per the Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Admission) Act, 2006, OBC candidates should have received 27%, that is, 1,097 seats,” the signatories said.

“In 2018-19, only 220 OBC candidates were admitted to postgraduate courses while they had a claim over 2,152 of the 7,982 seats,” the signatories added in their statement. “Similarly, only 66 OBC students were admitted under AIQ to the MBBS programme. There were 4,061 AIQ MBBS seats, of which 27% [1,096 seats] should have been filled with OBC candidates.”

The signatories said OBC students had lost out on 10,000 medical seats in three years. “The central government is neither following its own policy of 27% reserved seats for OBCs nor the state government mandates regarding OBC reservation in the allocation of seats,” they alleged.

The group demanded OBC students should be given 27% reservation for the academic year 2020-’21 and that the government must allot extra seats to compensate for the loss suffered by students.

The reservation quota for OBC students has triggered a political row in Tamil Nadu. On Friday, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam moved the Supreme Court seeking 50% OBC reservation in seats surrendered by Tamil Nadu in the All India Quota for under graduate, post graduate medical and dental courses for 2020-’21. The party had also called a meeting to discuss the matter on Sunday.