Army College of Medical Sciences (ACMS)

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Reservation of 100% seats for Army children

Army College of Medical Sciences, some facts regarding reservation mechanisms in the institution; Graphic courtesy: The Times of India, May 27 2016

The Times of India, May 27 2016

Durgesh Nandan Jha

Govt orders probe into Sheila's move of 100% seats for Army kids

A legislation passed by the Sheila Dikshit government in 2013 allowed Army College of Medical Sciences (ACMS) to reserve 100% seats for children of the serving and retired Army personnel. The Delhi Medical Association (DMA) is fighting a legal battle with the college management regarding the matter.

ACMS, which has 100 MBBS seats, came up at Delhi Cantonment in 2008. Because it is situated on a defence plot and funded by the Army Welfare Education Society (AWES), the college management had claimed that it would only admit children of the serving and retired Indian Army personnel. A unit of the Indian Medical Association then approached the Supreme Court, which struck down the college decision. In its order on May 12, 2011, the apex court said that as a non-minority professional institution, ACMS had no right to limit the source of students and had to follow the general reservation formula. Dr Rakesh Gupta, president of DMA, claimed that the order actually allowed ACMS to reserve only 5% of its seats for the defence category.

The college management then threatened to shut down the institution. It did not admit any student for the MBBS course for the academic sessions 2011-12 and 2012-13.But in 2013, the then government in Delhi passed a legislation, effectively exempting ACMS from following the normal university rules that did not allow 100% reservation for any category . Delhi government officials said this decision needed to be reviewed as it was arbitrary and hurt the needs of the local students.

TOI spoke to senior officials in the Indian Army who maintained that DMA's stance was totally flawed.“ACMS is built on defence land. It does not get any funding from the government.Then why should we be forced to admit students from the state quota? Still, as a responsible organisation, AWES has allowed due reservation to the students from the reserved category ,“ said an official on the condition of anonymity . Delhi has nine medical colleges with more than 1,000 seats. Of this, about 700 seats are under the state quota.The Delhi government, which has recently decided to open another medical college in Rohini, claims that ACMS will be asked to give more seats under the state quota.

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