The Supreme Court, on Friday, upheld the validity of 27 per cent reservation for Other Backward Class (OBC) and 10 per cent for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) for medical admissions in NEET-PG for academic year 2021-22. In a major relief for doctors, the apex court said that the counselling process must resume so as not to delay the admission process further.
For EWS, the existing criteria of Rs 8 lakh annual income has been upheld for this academic year.
A bench of justices DY Chandrachud and AS Bopanna had reserved its order on Thursday. The bench said that validity of criteria of Rs 8 lakh for determination of EWS for future years will be subject to final adjudication of the petitions and listed for final hearing on March 5.
The NEET-PG candidates, who challenged a July 29, 2021 notification for the implementation of the OBC and the EWS quotas from the 2021-22 academic year, had opposed the Centre's justification of applying the Rs 8 lakh income criterion, saying no study has been conducted on it.
Large-scale protests were held by resident doctors of various hospitals under the banner of the Federation of Resident Doctors' Association (FORDA) in Delhi and other parts of the country over the delay in the NEET-PG counselling, which has been postponed due to the pendency of the case and the Centre deciding to revisit the criterion for the determination of the EWS quota.
-with PTI inputs