The central government will go ahead with the existing criteria of Rs 8 lakh as the annual income limit to avail of the economically weaker section (EWS) quota with respect to the ongoing admissions to the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) PG 2021 counselling process. The criteria may be adopted from the next admission cycle, reported Bar and Bench.
The government had introduced a 10 per cent reservation for EWS candidates for admissions to medical colleges under the All India Quota (AIQ) but later the Supreme Court expressed doubts regarding the quota limit. The centre has now informed the top court that it would continue with the revised criteria of Rs 8 lakh quota limit as suggested by the committee set up by the government to look into the matter.
“The Central government has decided to accept the recommendations of the Committee including the recommendation of applying the new criteria prospectively,” the government told SC. The observations were made while hearing petitions challenging the 10 per cent reservation for EWS across medical colleges.
The NEET PG counselling was scheduled to be conducted from October 25 last year, however, after the SC’s intervention, the central government told the apex court on November 25 that it will revisit the criteria and formed the committee for the same.
As per the report of the committee, it suggested the current gross annual family income limit of Rs 8 lakh or less for EWS candidates may be retained, however, in some cases the criteria can be excluded. This includes if the family of the person whose family has 5 acres of agricultural land and above even though the income meets the required criteria. The committee recommended that the existing quota limit be continued and maybe made applicable from the next admission cycle.
This comes amid several protests by the resident doctors to expedite the NEET PG counselling process as they were “overworked and exhausted.” They had called for the strike on November 27 and had taken to social media platforms even before the protests began to put forth their demands. They have been protesting for over a month.