17 May Tuesday

SC Allows Current EWS/OBC Reservation For NEET Counselling In 2021-22 PG & UG Admissions

Web Desk(Tvm)Updated: Friday Jan 7, 2022

New Delhi : The Supreme Court on Friday lend nod for counselling process toward 2021-22 NEET-PG and NEET-UG admissions based on existing 27% quota for OBC(Other Backward Classes) and 10% reservation for Economically Weaker Sections(EWS) in the All India Quota. Marker  for assessing EWS would be Rs 8 lakh or less in annual family income.

Senior Advocate Shyam Divan argued that introducing OBC/EWS reservations in July after issuance of exam notification amounts to changing rules mid-way. He also argued for postgraduate admissions to be solely merit-based citing earlier SC verdicts that disallowed reservations for super-specialty courses.

On count of EWS assessment, Senior Advocated Arvind Datar argued that Rs 8 lakh as cut-off mark was ‘over inclusive ‘ and ‘arbitrary’ and is being applied without conducting any proper study. The regional income disparities existential in the country makes the a uniform criterion unreasonable, he argued and suggested that Rs 2.5 as marker be adopted instead.

On government side, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta argued that EWS  was meant to identify not just the ‘poor’ but also economically weaker sections and hence should stand apart from BPL category. Also, he submitted that disallowing reservation at PG level would amount to discrimination.

Context : The apex court was hearing case challenging validity of Centre’s decision to introduce OBC/EWS reservatopm om the All India Quota of NEET admissions.