NEET PG Admissions: Supreme Court, On Centre’s Plea, Advances Case Date

NEET PG Admissions: Supreme Court, On Centre's Plea, Advances Case Date

The revised EWS criteria retains the contentious Rs 8 lakh annual income ceiling

New Delhi:
The Supreme Court, upon Centre’s urgent request, has advanced the date in the hearing of a case raising questions about the Rs 8 lakh income criteria for identifying Economically Weaker Section (EWS) quota in connection with the NEET-PG admissions.

Here are top 10 developments on this big story:

  1. A three-judge bench will hear the case on Wednesday after Solicitor General Tushar Mehta requested before the Chief Justice of India that “doctors are very concerned”.

  2. The Chief Justice then constituted a special three-judge bench which will have Justices DY Chandrachud, Surya Kant and AS Bopanna as its members.

  3. NEET-PG OR National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test (Post Graduate) is a qualifying and ranking exam. Upon clearing, NEET-PG students can get admission to several postgraduate MD, MS and Diploma courses in more than 100 private and government medical colleges.

  4. Counselling, which was to begin in October 2021, has been put on hold after a batch of petitions were filed in the Supreme Court challenging a July 29 notification of the Centre announcing a 27 per cent quota to OBCs and 10 per cent reservation to EWS in NEET-PG (All India Quota).

  5. Due to delay in NEET-PG admissions new doctors have not yet joined their colleges. This has led to increase in existing workload for other doctors.

  6. Large-scale protests have been held by resident doctors of various hospitals under the banner of the Federation of Resident Doctors’ Association (FORDA) in Delhi and other parts of the country over a delay in the NEET-PG counselling, which has been postponed due to the Centre deciding to revisit the criteria for the determination of the EWS quota.

  7. Existing criteria to identify EWS reservation beneficiaries for admission to medical courses across the country will be retained for this academic year, the government told the Supreme Court in an affidavit last week.

  8. The government said changing norms at this time – when admissions and allocation of colleges for NEET (National Eligibility cum Entrance Test) students are ongoing – will lead to complications. The doctors accused the government of dragging its feet on this issue and warned of serious consequences for the country’s healthcare, particularly in light of the Covid pandemic.

  9. The revised EWS criteria retains the contentious Rs 8 lakh annual income ceiling but excludes families with agricultural land of five acres or more, irrespective of income. The government had earlier argued that the Rs 8 lakh annual income ceiling was consistent with Articles 14, 15 and 16 of the Constitution.

  10. A bench led by Justice DY Chandrachud was not convinced. “You must have some demographic or socio-economic data. You can’t just pluck the 8 million figure out of thin air,” Justice Chandrachud said.

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