The Central government has decided to stick to the existing criteria of ₹8 lakh annual income limit for determination of Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) with respect to the ongoing admissions to the NEET post graduate courses [Neil Aurelio Nunes v. Union of India]..In an affidavit filed before the Supreme Court, the Centre informed the top court that an expert committee constituted by the government to reassess the criteria, suggested that the existing criteria may be continued for ongoing admissions while the revised criteria suggested by the committee may be adopted from the next admission cycle."The Central government has decided to accept the recommendations of the Committee including the recommendation of applying the new criteria prospectively," the government told the top court.The three-member committee was constituted by the Centre after the Supreme Court had expressed serious reservations about whether any study was conducted at all before fixing the ₹8 lakh limit for determining EWS.The observations were made while hearing petitions challenging 27 percent reservation for Other Backward Classes (OBC) and 10 percent reservation for Economically Weaker Section (EWS) introduced by the Central government in All India Quota (AIQ) seats in State government medical institutions.The Central government had subsequently told the Supreme Court on November 25 that it is proposing to revisit the criteria for determining the Economically Weaker Sections. It then constituted the committee for the same. The committee in its report made the following suggestions with respect to the criteria:.- The current gross annual family income limit for EWS of ₹8 lakh or less may be retained. In other words only those families who annual income is upto ₹8 lakh would be eligible to get the benefit of EWS reservation. The definition of ‘family’ and income would remain same as those in the OM dated 17 th January 2019.- EWS may, however exclude, irrespective of income, a person whose family has 5 acres of agricultural land and above.- The residential asset criteria may altogether be removed..However, it concluded that making the above changes during the ongoing admission process may resulting in inevitable delay and avoidable complications."When the existing system is ongoing since 2019, no serious prejudice would be caused if it continues for this year as well. Changing the criteria midway is also bound to result in spate of litigations in various courts across the country by the people/persons whose eligibility would change suddenly," the committee's report said.The Committee, therefore, after analysing the pros and cons on this issue and after giving serious consideration, recommended that the existing and ongoing criteria in every on-going process where EWS reservation is available, be continued and the criteria recommended in its report may be made applicable from next advertisement / admission cycle..The ongoing counselling process for NEET PG courses has been put on hold due to the case and this has led to doctors in Delhi protesting against the government demanding that the hearing of the case be expedited and the counselling and admission process be completed as early as possible.