Sunday, January 23, 2022

NEET-PG Counseling: Supreme Court Reserves Order In EWS Quota

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New Delhi :

Supreme Court after a long hearing in the matter of counseling in NEET-PG Supreme Court has reserved the decision. SC will decide whether counseling will start on the basis of EWS (Economically Weaker Section) criteria of Rs 8 lakh per annum. The Supreme Court has reserved the decision on the Centre’s application for permission to start counseling. The court has asked the parties to submit written arguments by Friday morning. During the hearing of the case today, Justice Chandrachud expressed displeasure with a lawyer over the long debate. He said that there are no EWS in the court. Here senior-junior all are equal. If you want to argue, we postpone the hearing for tomorrow. We want to end the matter in the national interest at the earliest so that counseling can start.

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It is worth noting that in this case an application has also been given by Federation of Resident Doctors Association (FORDA). It was said by FORDA that there is a need to start counseling at the earliest as we are the backbone of the medical workforce. At the grassroots level, when the third wave of COVID is knocking at the door, we need doctors in the field. On this, Justice DY Chandrachud said that this is not only a concern of the doctors but of the country. Your concern has also been shared by the Bench. Apoorva Karol, Consultant, Resident Doctors Association said that 33% of the workforce has not gone to work and those who are working are also being affected immensely due to Omicron. Whatever decision is taken, it should be expedited.

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The petitioner’s counsel Arvind Datar said in his plea, “The limit of 8 lakh is high and arbitrary. It will benefit those who are not financially weak. How is 8 lakh justified when they are excluding the creamy layer? They are saying that candidates need to show house registration documents/income, property certificates. Where will the candidates get the documents at such quick notice? They are trying to impose a formula on the whole country which has no justification A detailed study was done in the report of the Singho Committee. For today’s counselling, the present formula under the report of the Singho Committee should be implemented. The new EWS norms may be considered next year. Forda said, “We are the ones who went on strike. Every year 45,000 doctors are inducted into the medical workforce as PG doctors. This year the exam was delayed due to the pandemic and the first year has not yet appeared. Counseling needs to start at the earliest as we are the backbone of the medical workforce. At the grassroots level, since the third wave of Kovid is knocking at the door, we need doctors in the field. Whatever are the constitutional issues regarding reservation, they can also be decided later.

Solicitor General (SG) Tushar Mehta on behalf of the Central Government said that this rule is already applicable from 2019 except AIQ. The date of issue of counseling booklet was July 29, 2021. What will be the applicable reservation will be informed at the time of counselling. When I give exam, I have to give my best and reservation is not considered at that time. Even though we say on 23rd February that admission in NEET PG seats will be according to reservation. It clarifies that this is only the notification of the examination, the Solicitor General said that this is not the first time that the Center has introduced OBC or EWS reservation. OBC Reservation Act 2006 exists for OBC reservation for admission in central educational institutions.

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