Mumbai: In an endeavour aimed at faster educational progress, the minorities ministry wants at least 420 additional seats for MBBS and 720 seats for engineering colleges in the state. Andhra Pradesh is the only state to have set aside 4% seats in its medical, dental and engineering colleges for minority students.
In the state, the ministry conducted a meeting with directors of medical and technical education and instructed them to send proposals to Medical Council of India (MCI) and All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE). This followed last month’s sanction of Rs 190 crore from the Central government and the state ministry for minorities’ development and education.
“Besides additional seats in medical and engineering colleges in the state, we also want to start a second shift (in existing colleges) for minority students in various engineering colleges. We are trying to get it sanctioned soon and want it to start from the 2014 academic year,” said Arif Naseem Khan, minorities development minister.
Khan conducted a meeting on Wednesday in Mantralaya with secretary and joint secretaries of minorities’ affairs, officials of higher and technical education, medical education and the principal of J J School of Architecture. Such meetings were conducted a few months ago and proposals were sent to MCI and AICTE but the concerned departments had some queries. “This time we are sending the proposal with all the queries answered and hope to get a positive reply,” added Khan. S Mahajan, chairman of Directorate of Technical Education (DTE), said the minorities minister stressed on the need for access to quality education. “We plan to write to the AICTE and request additional seats for minority students who qualify in the entrance test,” said Mahajan. A letter will be dispatched to MCI, too.
A similar effort was made last year when the minister had first proposed the idea of reserving seats. “Last year, the DTE had written to the AICTE seeking permission to run a second shift and the plan was to accommodate minority students in the evening shift. However, permission did not come from Delhi,” added Mahajan. The DTE will now ask for extra seats in the morning college itself.
AICTE chairman S S Mantha said the count of minorities and women in professional education has risen over time. “We want 40 seats each in pharmacy colleges in Aurangabad, Karad and Amravati districts for minorities. We also insisted minority students be given at least 13 seats. All expenses will be borne by the ministry,” said Khan. The ministry has already started the second shift in 12 polytechnic and 44 ITI institutions for minorities in many districts. “We are getting a good response.”
The Times of India, November 2, 2013