Junior doctors stage a protest to condemn the police action on a peaceful protest of resident doctors in Delhi who were agitating over delay in NEET counselling, at Gauhati Medical College Hospital (GMCH) in Guwahati. (Photo: PTI/File)
New Delhi: Noting the urgency in commencing the counselling for admission to post graduate medical courses, the Supreme Court on Friday gave its go ahead for the conduct of counselling for admission in post graduate and undergraduate medical courses with 27% OBC and 10% EWS reservation in All India Quota (AIQ) seats.
Upholding the validity of the 27% OBC reservation in the AIQ seats in NEET-PG and NEET-UG, Justice D.Y. Chandrachud heading a bench also comprising Justice A.S. Bopanna said, "There is an urgent need to
commence the process of Counselling."
Saying that the reasons for upholding the validity of 27% OBC reservation in the AIQ seats in NEET-PG and NEET-UG will follow later, Justice Chandrachud pronouncing an interim order said, "We accept the
recommendation of the Pandey Committee that the criteria which have been stipulated" in the office memorandum 2019 be used for admission in academic year 2021-2022 in order to "ensure that the admission
process is not dislocated".
The counselling on the basis of NEET-PG 2021 and NEET- UG 2021 shall be conducted by giving effect to the 27% OBC and 120% EWS reservation in AIQ seats as provided by the July 29, 2021, government notification.
The court further said that the criteria for the determination of the EWS as notified in 2019 providing for annual income cut-off of Rs. 8 lakhs or assets like five acres of agriculture land, 1000 sq. feet of living space, or 100 sq. yards of residential plot in notified municipal area ad 150 sq. yard of residential plot in non-notified
municipal area will operate for admission in post-graduate and under-graduate medical courses for the current academic year.
The court made it clear that the validity of the criteria determined by the Pandey committee for identification of EWS would be prospective for the future. However, the court said that the Pandey committee criteria for the identification of EWS for next academic year or future years would be subject to the final result of the petitions
pending before it.
Issuing five directions in its interim order, the court said that the hearing that was spread over two days necessitate a detailed interim order on the applicability of the EWS criteria as notified in 2019 for NEET-PG 2021. The formulation of the reasons in the interim order on the EWS reservation would take some time.
Similarly, the court said that the validity of the OBC reservation in the AIQ seats in NEET-PG and NEET-UG is upheld for reasons to follow.
The court directed that the petitions be listed for final hearing on the validity of the EWS criteria as recommended by the Pandey Committee in the third week of March 2022.