In the larger public interest, the Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday, while regretting that some ‘privilege remains unchanged’ even after 68 years of independence said it is high time to do away with all forms of reservation in institutions of higher education.

The SC urged the Union government to take effective steps ‘objectively’.

The Indian Express reported that a bench of Justices Dipak Misra and P C Pant noted that despite several reminders to the central and state governments to make merit the primary criteria for admissions into super-specialty courses, the ground reality remains has remained unchanged and reservation often overshadows merit.

“The fond hope has remained in the sphere of hope… The said privilege remains unchanged, as if (it is) to compete with eternity,” the bench noted and added that it concurs completely with what the Supreme Court had ruled in 1988 in two judgments.

In the cases while deal with the issue of reservation in super-specialty courses in medical institutions, the top court had earlier said “there should really be no reservation: since it is in the general interest of the country for improving the standard of higher education”.

“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…” these judgments read.

Emphasising what the apex court had held 27 years ago, the bench said it is now ‘inclined’ to convey the same message to the central and state governments over reservation in institutions of higher education.

“Therefore, 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 court said.

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.

The observations were made when the SC delivered its judgment on a batch of petitions that challenged an eligibility criteria for admissions into certain super-specialty medical courses in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Tamil Nadu.