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Home » Education » Centre urges SC to allow NEET-PG counselling, SC closes arguments, to give verdict soon

Centre urges SC to allow NEET-PG counselling, SC closes arguments, to give verdict soon

Senior advocate Arvind Datar has urged to keep EWS criteria at 2.5 lakhs in the alternative. However, the bench has not pronounced any verdict today.

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Centre urges SC to allow NEET-PG counselling, SC closes arguments, to give verdict soon

NEET PG Counselling 2021 case hearing has been closed by Supreme Court today. The Apex court has reserved the order for now and is expected to give the verdict soon. Senior advocate Arvind Datar has urged to keep EWS criteria at 2.5 lakhs in the alternative. However, the bench has not pronounced any verdict today.

NEET PG Counselling 2021 Live: Supreme Court reserves order on EWS quota

The Central government on Wednesday requested the Supreme Court to allow commencement of the counselling for NEET-PG saying doctors concerns for counselling are genuine. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appearing for Centre told a bench headed by Justice DY Chandrachud, “Let us proceed with the counselling. We are at a point where counselling is stuck. We need doctors and their concerns are genuine. As a society, we cannot go into lengthy arguments now.”

Mehta sought permission from the Court to proceed with the counselling for the current academic year while the criteria and other aspects can be heard in detail and decided by the Court later. Resident doctors have been protesting against the delay in the NEET-PG counselling.

Earlier, the apex court had asked the Centre to put on hold the counselling for NEET-PG until it decides the validity of the Centre’s decision to introduce OBC and EWS reservation in All India Quota (AIQ). It had said that NEET-PG counselling will not start without its approval as the court is examining a plea against the Centre’s decision for medical admission. Today, the Bench heard arguments on petitions challenging the Centre’s decision to introduce OBC and EWS reservation in NEET All India Quota. The arguments will continue tomorrow as well.

Senior advocate Shyam Divan and Arvind Datar, appearing for the petitioners, put forth their arguments against the Centre’s decision of providing reservation to OBC and EWS category. On December 31, the Centre filed an affidavit stating that it has decided to stick to the existing criteria of Rs 8 lakh annual income limit for determination of 10 per cent EWS reservation with respect to the ongoing admissions to the NEET postgraduate courses.

The Centre has informed the apex court that an Expert Committee constituted by the government to reassess the criteria, suggested that the existing criteria may be continued for ongoing admissions while the revised criteria suggested by the Committee may be adopted from the next admission cycle. Changing the EWS criteria midway will lead to complications, the Committee has opined while recommending the introduction of revised EWS criteria from the next academic year.

The affidavit has stated, “The Central government has decided to accept the recommendations of the Committee including the recommendation of applying the new criteria prospectively.” The three-member committee was constituted by the Centre after the apex court had expressed serious reservations about whether any study was conducted at all before fixing the Rs 8 lakh limit for determining EWS.

The top court was hearing a batch of pleas challenging the Centre and Medical Counselling Committee (MCC) July 29, 2021 notice providing 27 per cent reservation for Other Backward Class (OBC) and 10 per cent for Economic Weaker Sections (EWS) category for the admission in the NEET for all medical seats. The July 29 notice provide 27 per cent reservation for OBC and 10 per cent for the EWS category in 15 per cent UG and 50 per cent PG All India Quota (AQI) seats (MBBS, BDS and MD, MS, MDS) with effect from the current academic session 2021-22.

On October 21, the Bench had asked the Centre whether it would like to revisit the limit of Rs 8 lakh annual income, fixed for determining the EWS category for reservation in NEET admissions for medical courses. It had asked the Centre whether any exercise was undertaken before fixing a limit of Rs 8 lakh annual income for determining the EWS category.

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