Port Blair, Aug. 30: The reduction of MBBS seats earmarked for the islands’ students has sent a shock wave among the student fraternity and also the parents. The original number of seats earmarked was 18 and there was a demand placed to the Ministry of Health, GoI to increase the number to 30. Instead of considering the demand, the Ministry unfortunately has reduced the seats from 18 to 15.

In a letter to Shri Gulam Nabi Azad, Union Minister of Health, the State Organising Committee, Communist Party of India (Marxist) expressed their displeasure over the move of the Ministry to reduce the number of seats reserved for the candidates of Andaman and Nicoabr Islands from the central pool quota for the academic session 2012-13. 

Shri KG Das, Secretary, State Organising Committee, CPI (M) wrote, “The Union Territory Administration of Andaman and Nicobar Islands  and various other organizations  have been  requesting the Government of India  for a substantial increase in the  number of  MBBS seats from the present  18 seats considering the fact that  number of  students  who  study  Science stream in the islands  is increasing every year.   It is a rude shock  to the  aspiring candidates and their parents and also  others  that  instead of  increasing the  seats, the Govt. of India  in a  very  unjustified  manner  has  reduced the number of seats to 15. This has created widespread discontentment and anger among the islanders in general”. 

Das further said that due to historical reasons and backwardness of these islands, coupled with lack of facilities for coaching, etc., the candidates belonging to Andaman and Nicobar Islands are  solely depend upon the central pool quota MBBS  seats. The present decision of the Govt. of India to reduce the existing number of seats is a severe blow on their hopes and aspirations.

The UT of A & N Islands is to be given preferential treatment due to the above reasons and geographical conditions, he explained.  

The Secretary CPI (M) therefore sought the personal attention the Minister in the matter and demanded that the original number of 18 MBBS seats be restored.