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Natl Med J India. 2017 May-Jun;30(3):159-160.

Quota in specialty and super-specialty courses: What does the judiciary say?

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Department of Anaesthesia, Max Smart Super Specialty Hospital, Saket, New Delhi, India.
Enrolled for Master of Public Health, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK.


Reservations in super-specialty courses have been controversial for decades. A number of practising doctors, medical students and others in society have wanted to do away with reservations in specialty and super-specialty courses, while there are others in favour of persisting with reservations. Article 15 (4) of the Constitution of India states that nothing shall prevent the State from making any special provision for the advancement of any socially and educationally backward classes of citizens or for the Scheduled Castes/Tribes. However, Article 14 of the Indian Constitution should also be considered. The judiciary, particularly, the Supreme Court of India, in its judgments has strived to strike a balance between the two constitutional provisions. The Supreme Court, on various occasions, has observed that reservations in super-specialty courses should be done away with, as such reservations would be detrimental to the advancement of medical science and research and will also not serve national interest. We present the observations of the Supreme Court of India through its various judgments, with a focus on the recent case of Dr Sandeep versus Union of India, where the honourable court stated that the government should do away with reservations in super-specialty courses.

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