Spouses and children of government employees who lost their lives or have become disabled in anti-terror operations in Jammu and Kashmir, will get reservation in admission to the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) and Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) courses for the academic year of 2022-23, the Home Ministry has said.

The Centre’s decision is rare and not available to security forces and other government employees posted in the troubled North-Eastern states. “It will serve as a morale booster for security forces, fighting perhaps the longest Pakistan-aided insurgency in the country,” said government sources.

The MHA has defined a pecking order for categorising terror victims’ children. Kids of both parents killed by terrorists will be accorded topmost priority in admissions. They will be followed by children of families whose sole bread-earners have fallen to terror, and then by wards of people who have suffered a permanent disability and serious injury during terrorist operations, said the notification issued by the Controller of Examination of The J&K Board of Professional Entrance Examinations (BOPEE). They will have to produce documents to prove their eligibility for availing of the admission quota.

The last date for submission of applications is November 11, till 2 pm.

To avail of admission, the children should be residents of J&K and their parents should be employees of either the UT/ state or Central Government. According to the conditions laid down, the kids should have passed the 12th standard with a minimum 50 per cent marks in Physics, Chemistry, Biology/ Bio-Technology and English, but the pass percentage for reserved category students, including SC, ST and OBC, is 40 per cent, the BOPEE notification said.

“The selection of candidates will be made on the basis of rank obtained in the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET)-2022 conducted by the National Testing Agency,” said the Controller of Examinations.

In NEET, too, general candidate applicants will have to secure 50th percentile, while the 40th percentile will be for reserved category students. “The reservation policy being followed by the UT of J&K will apply on central poll MBBS/ BDS seats,” said the Controller of Examinations.

According to data compiled by the MHA, between 2014 and November 2021, 264 civilians and 504 security personnel were killed by terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir. Sources in the UT administration said the number of eligible children would be known only after applications are filed.

The move to have more doctors from the J&K is aimed at fulfilling the healthcare demand. Around 350 health infrastructure projects and works worth more than Rs 7,000 crore are coming up in the UT, said the government officials. Two new AIIMS being set up at a project cost of Rs 4,000 crore have been earmarked for the state.

Similarly, seven new government medical colleges with a total outlay of Rs 1,595 crore, 15 nursing colleges involving an approximate additional cost of Rs 60 crore, and two state cancer institutes at a total cost of Rs 212 crore, are also at various stages of completion, said UT sources.

Besides, bone and joint hospitals being set up at a cost of Rs 129.80 crore and a 200-bedded additional block at LD Hospital Srinagar are also coming up at a cost of Rs 132.5 crore, government sources said.