The Supreme Court on Tuesday said that all forms of reservation in institutions of higher education should be scrapped in "national interest" and also suggested the Centre to take steps "objectively" in this regard, The Indian Express reported.
A bench of Justices Dipak Misra and PC Pant observed that though state and central universities have been asked to give priority to merit for admissions in super-specialty courses, in reality merit often takes a backseat and preference is given to reservation.
The court made the observations while delivering its judgment on several petitions which challenged the eligibility criteria for admissions to specific super-specialty courses in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Tamil Nadu, states the report.
Citing two judgments by the apex court in 1988, the bench, according to The Indian Express, said, "The fond hope has remained in the sphere of hopeā¦ The said privilege remains unchanged, as if (it is) to compete with eternity".
The 1988 judgements had noted that "...in Super Specialities there should really be no reservation. This is so in the general interest of the country and for improving the standard of higher education and thereby improving the quality of available medical services to the people of India. We hope and trust that the Government of India and the State Governments shall seriously consider this aspect of the matter without delay and appropriate guidelines shall be evolved by the Indian Medical Council so as to keep the Super Specialities in medical education unreserved, open and free."
The bench of Justices Dipak Misra and P C Pant said that they were in agreement with the apex court's judgement in 1988 and that "we echo the same feeling and reiterate the aspirations of others so that authorities can objectively assess and approach the situation so that the national interest can become paramount."
The Indian Express report further states, "It also referred to a body of judgments, asking government authorities to abstain from relaxing the eligibility criteria basing it on various kinds of reservation since it would defeat the very object of imparting the best possible training to selected meritorious candidates."