The Tamil Nadu government on Thursday issued an order notifying 7.5 per cent quota for students of state-run schools in admission to undergraduate medical courses from the current 2020-21 academic year.
Since the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) results have now been declared and the admission process has started, there is an "urgency" to decide on this issue, the Government Order (G.O) said.
The move came as a bill passed by the state assembly last month envisaging the horizontal reservation is awaiting assent from Governor Banwarilal Purohit.
As per the G.O, 7.5 per cent of seats shall be set apart on a preferential basis to government school students qualifying in NEET, in admissions to MBBS, BDS, BSMS, BAMS, BUMS, and BHMS from the academic year 2020-21.
By resorting to the executive route for implementing the quota, the AIADMK government has sought to take the wind out of the sails of opposition DMK which has been upping the ante on the issue and had staged protests demanding immediate implementation of the reservation.
Days ago, DMK chief M K Stalin, leading a demonstration seeking the governor's nod for the bill, had said his party's protests will continue till the students got the reservation.
Attacking Chief Minister K Palaniswami, he had also asked if there was justification for him to occupy the position without getting the quota bill cleared.
Hitting back, Mr Palaniswami had accused the DMK leader of taking up the issue in an attempt to create an "illusion" that he (Stalin) was responsible for a possible approval by Mr Purohit on the matter besides seeking political mileage.
The implementation of horizontal reservation, applicable to students who studied in government schools from class 6 to 12 became crucial for the ruling party as the issue became a focal point in the state, where assembly elections are due during April-May next year.