New Delhi: The Central government on Monday urged the Supreme Court of India to schedule the hearing of Economically Weaker Section (EWS) reservation related to NEET-PG admissions on Tuesday. Citing “some urgency”, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta mentioned the case before a bench headed by Justice DY Chandrachud, asking the apex court to hear the case on January 5.
Responding to the Centre’s plea, Justice Chandrachud said that he will speak with the Chief Justice of India NV Ramana and take a call on constituting a special bench to hear the case. The NEET-PG EWS quota case is originally scheduled for January 6.
Several petitions have been filed in the Supreme Court challenging the 27 per cent reservation for Other Backward Classes (OBC) and 10 per cent reservation for Economically Weaker Section (EWS) introduced by the Central government in All India Quota seats in state government medical institutions.
The court has also taken up the petition against the criteria of Rs 8 lakh annual income as a cap to avail the EWS quota. The Centre had on October 25 assured the SC that PG medical courses counselling will not start till the final decision on the issue is taken by the court.
The Centre in an affidavit on January 1, 2022, informed the SC that the Rs 8 lakh annual income criteria for EWS will stay during the current admissions to the NEET PG courses. Doctors are protesting against the delay in NEET-PG counselling and the admissions process.
Even though the NEET-PG entrance examination was held in September 2021 but the counselling was put on hold after the OBC and EWS quotas were challenged in the SC. Resident doctors, who appeared for the exam on September 11, 2021, are awaiting the counselling through which admissions are granted.
The NEET-PG counselling was originally scheduled to begin on October 25. The delay is due to the Supreme Court hearing petitions against the Centre’s decision to allow reservation for OBC and EWS category aspirants.
On November 25, 2021, the Centre informed the Supreme Court that the counselling for the NEET-PG medical courses would be postponed by four weeks.