The Centre has told the Madras High Court that it was unlikely to provide admission to students from Other Backward Communities under the All India Quota medical seats in all government institutions, PTI reported on Saturday.

OBC medical aspirants have been accommodated in the seats under the All India Quota since 1986 only in central institutions, and not in state-run colleges, the Centre said during a hearing on Friday. “The method has been followed even when most of the petitioners [political parties] were in power through their alliance in the past,” the central government added.

The court was hearing a series of pleas by parties, including Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and Paattali Makkal Katchi. The parties sought 50% reservation of seats for OBC students, keeping to the 69% reservation in Tamil Nadu.

The political parties pointed out in their plea that the common central pool is comprised of 15% of all Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) seats and 50% of postgraduate medical seats that states have surrendered to the Centre. The plea contended that at least 27% of the seats should be reserved for OBC students, with the assumption that the Centre’s rule would be followed for AIQ seat allotments.

However, the Centre said that it was willing to provide reservations to OBCs without modifying the current reservation for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, according to The Hindu. The central government said that the number of seats could be increased with assistance from the states and following the implementation of the state-specific reservation policy for SCs, STs and OBCs. It further added that the states would be required to contribute to the AIQ seats category-wise and maintain a reservation roster at college and state levels.

A bench, led by Justice R Subbiah is likely to take up the matter on Monday.

Earlier this month, a group of over 300 citizens, including MPs, activists, teachers, lawyers and students, flagged that medical aspirants belonging to the OBC were not getting reservation for admission to colleges. They demanded that the Centre compensate them for the seats that they have lost.