NEET-PG: SC allows admissions with 27% quota for OBCs, 10% for EWS [8.1.2022]

New Delhi, 8.1.2022 (Saturday)

NEET-PG: SC allows admissions with 27% quota for OBCs, 10% for EWS

Ending the stalemate over NEET-PG and NEET-UG admissions to medical colleges, the Supreme Court, in an interim order on Friday, directed that counselling may proceed on the basis of the July 29, 2021 government notification by which 10 per cent seats were reserved for Economically Weaker Section (EWS) and 27 per cent for Other Backward Classes (OBC) candidates.

A bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and A S Bopanna also accepted the recommendation of the Ajay Bhushan Pandey Committee to stick to the prescribed Rs 8 lakh income limit for EWS quota for the current  admission cycle.

“There is an urgent need to commence the process of counselling,” said the bench. “We accept the recommendation of the Pandey Committee that the criteria which has been stipulated in OM (office memorandum) 2019 (for EWS) (which prescribed the Rs 8 lakh limit) be used for 2021-2022 in order to ensure that the admission process is not dislocated,” it said.

“Counselling on the basis of NEET-PG 2021 and NEET-UG 2021 shall be conducted by giving effect to the resolution as provided by the notice dated July 29, 2021 including the 27% reservation for OBC category and 10% reservation for EWS category in the all-India quota seats,” it said. “The criteria for determination of the EWS notified by OM 2019 shall be used for identifying the EWS category who appeared for NEET-UG and NEET-PG 2021 examinations,” it said.

The bench, however, added that “the validity of the criteria determined by the Pandey Committee for identifying the EWS prospectively for the future (will) be subject to the final results of the petitions.” The court directed that the matter be listed for further hearing in the third week of March.

Counseling for the NEET (National Eligibility cum Entrance Test) under-graduate and post-graduate programmes had been suspended as the government had told the court that it would not proceed with it during pendency of a batch of petitions challenging the July 29, 2021 notification prescribing the quota for EWS and OBC students. The petitioners had contended that the Rs 8 lakh limit was fixed without carrying out any study. The court had asked the Centre to explain how the income criteria was fixed.

09 Jan 2022