SC clears NEET-PG, UG counselling for 2021-2022: Court upheld ten percent reservation for EWS

SC clears NEET-PG, UG counselling for 2021-2022: Court upheld ten percent reservation for EWS

New Delhi: In a big relief for NEET-PG counselling, the Supreme Court has upheld the constitutional validity of 27 percent reservation for OBC (other backward classes)and 10 percent reservation for EWS (economically weaker sections)categories for admission to the medical courses for 2021-2022 academic year.

Supreme Court has allowed the resumption of NEET-PG counselling with immediate effect. The Rs. 8 lakh income criteria to identify EWS beneficiaries has also been allowed from this academic year.

While hearing the petition filed by Niel Aurelio Nunes, the division bench headed by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and Justice A.S. Bopanna directed that the counselling can be held as per existing criteria for reservation of 27 percent for other backward classes and 10 percent for the economically weaker section in All India Quota seats in State government-owned medical colleges.

While accepting the Pandey committee report, the bench has observed that counselling for NEET PG and Undergraduate courses will be taken place in consonance with the notification as given effect to the in-office memorandum.

Court further observed that criteria mentioned to identify EWS will be used for NEET PG and UG. The Pandey committee report will be subject to the final validity of the subject assailed," the bench observed.

Meanwhile, the bench has also upheld the 27 percent quota for OBC. The validity of criteria for determining EWS quota will be heard at length by the Court later in March this year, bench observed.

Key highlights of SC order on NEET-PG and UG courses

NEET PG counselling for 2021-22 will be held as per the existing criteria for determining reservation for OBC and EWS.

The 27 percent OBC reservation quota has been upheld and settled. There won't be a further hearing on this aspect.

The criteria for determining EWS reservation criteria will be heard at length by the Court in March and the decision of the Court on the same will apply prospectively to future admissions.

The case relates to petitions challenging reservation for OBC and EWS introduced by the Central government in the AIQ seats in State government medical institutions.

One of the aspects the Court is specifically examining is the feasibility of having ₹8 lakh as a cap to avail the EWS quota for PG medical admissions.

During the hearing of the case on October 25, the Central government had assured the Court that the counselling for PG medical courses will not start till the Court decides the matter.

The Centre filed an affidavit before the top court on January 1, stating that it has decided to stick to the existing criteria of ₹8 lakh annual income limit for determination of EWS reservation with respect to the ongoing admissions to the NEET PG courses.