SC allows counselling for NEET PG and UG admissions

The Supreme Court ended the stalemate over NEET PG and UG admission and has directed the counselling to proceed. “There is an urgent need to commence the process of counselling,” said the bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and A S Bopanna

A bench of 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. This decision was made on 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.

“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,” bench 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.

Last month, resident doctors in Delhi went on strike to protest the delay in NEET-PG counselling. While they began their protest in November-end, they suspended the agitation for a week on December 9. They resumed the protest on December 17, before finally calling it off on December 31, following assurances from the government that the process would be fast-tracked.

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