After the Supreme Court expressed doubts on the setting of Rs 8 lakh as the annual income limit to avail of the economically weaker section (EWS) quota, the central government is set to revisit its criterion. The government has asked for an extension of four weeks to reconsider its rationale behind the Rs 8 lakh limit. Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta told Supreme Court that the government will formulate a committee and take a fresh decision within four weeks.
If the limit is changed, it would mean more or lesser students would be eligible to avail of the newly introduced quota. The Modi government has introduced 10 per cent reservation in medical colleges for students belonging to economically weaker sections of the society. Till the time a decision is arrived at on the matter, the counselling process and subsequent admissions for the medical colleges will remain shut.
Doctors waiting to start their postgraduate medical college admissions will have to wait a little longer. The NEET PG 2021 counselling has been further pushed by four weeks.
Senior advocate Arvind P Datar who was appearing on behalf of petitioners said that the delay is pushing the medical counselling and college education further. Thus, students might have lesser time to complete their degrees. He said that the EWS quota could be postponed for the next academic year. The solicitor general, however, assured that it would be implemented as soon as possible. NEET PG counselling was scheduled to begin on October 25.
The case is being heard by a three-judge bench headed by Justice D Y Chandrachud. It is likely to be heard on January 6, next.
Meanwhile, doctors who cleared the exam are getting impatient and demand directions soon. They have taken to Twitter with the hashtag #ExpediteNeetPGCounselling2021 and called for an “immediate decision" to fix the dates. As many as 50 per cent of seats in postgraduate courses in medical and dental colleges are allotted through the central medical counselling process.