Anti-quota protests spread across Odisha

Cuttack: Protests against Odisha government’s decision to raise the quantum of reservation of seats for SC and ST students in higher education seem to be spreading across the state.

Students of SCB Medical College and Hospital here staged an anti-reservation demonstration here today, after the medicos in government-run teaching hospitals in Burla and Berhampur hit the roads in last few days.

A large number of students holding placards and shouting slogans against Naveen Patnaik government’s decision, held a rally in the city on the day and threatened to up their ante if the government did not roll back its new reservation policy in higher education.

The state government has decided to increase the reservation of seats for SC students from eight per cent to 16.25 per cent and from 12 per cent to 22.5 per cent for ST students in higher education, including that of medical and engineering colleges. The enhanced quota policy would come into effect from 2015-16 academic sessions.

“The increase in quota would severely affect the higher medical education in the state and have a cascading effect on the health services,” said a medico at the demonstration here.

“The meritorious general students would be deprived of higher education. The increase in quota should be immediately rolled back,” said another demonstrator suggesting that the system of reservation should be done away with immediate effect.