NEET PG Counselling: Supreme Court Reserves Order On OBC, EWS Quota Issue

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday reserved order on petitions related to the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) quota in NEET-PG admissions.

“We have been hearing this matter for two days, we must start counselling in national interest,” a bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and AS Bopanna said.

Petitioners had challenged the 27 per cent reservation for Other Backward Classes (OBC) and 10 per cent reservation for EWS in all-India quota seats for postgraduate medical courses.

They have opposed the government’s justification of applying the Rs 8 lakh income criteria for defining Economically Weaker Sections (EWS), saying no study had been conducted.

READ | Union Health Minister Has Assured NEET-PG Counseling Will Start Before January 6, 2022: IMA President

The Centre had told the Supreme Court on Wednesday that it would not accept a position whereby those falling in the OBC or the EWS category, whether before or after the exercise of revisiting the criterion of Rs 8 lakh annual income, were deprived of something that is legitimately due to them, PTI reported.

The matter was heard by the Supreme Court on an urgent basis after the government sought early hearing amid widespread protests by resident doctors of several hospitals in Delhi and other parts of the country over the delay in NEET-PG counselling.

Counselling was postponed due to the Centre deciding to revisit the criteria for the determination of the EWS quota and pendency of the case in the Supreme Court.

The Centre, in its affidavit filed in the top court, said it had decided to accept the recommendations of a three-member panel to retain the current gross annual family income limit for defining EWS at Rs 8 lakh or less.

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