The Central government told the Supreme Court on Wednesday that the counselling and admission process for National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) postgraduate courses is stuck due to the case before the Supreme Court..The case relates to reservation for Other Backward Classes (OBC) and Economically Weaker Section (EWS) introduced by the Central government in the All-India Quota (AIQ) seats in State government medical institutions..As a consequence, doctors have been protesting due to the delay in the admission process. The concerns raised by the doctors are genuine, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta representing the Central government told the top court."We need doctors and their concerns are genuine. As a society, we cannot go into lengthy arguments now. We said we will revisit and the report has been submitted now," he said.He sought permission from the Court to proceed with the counselling for the current academic year while the criteria and other aspects can be heard in detail and decided by the Court later."The report (by the expert committee) needs to bee seen in the light of the conscience is whether poorest of poor is covered. Let us proceed with counselling and we can assist the Court in great detail," Mehta said..The case relates to petitions challenging reservation for Other Backward Classes (OBC) and Economically Weaker Section (EWS) introduced by the Central government in the All-India Quota (AIQ) seats in State government medical institutions.One of the aspects the Court is specifically examining is the feasibility of having ₹8 lakh as a cap to avail the EWS quota for PG medical admissions..During the hearing of the case on October 25, the Central government had assured the Court that the counselling for PG medical courses will not start till the Court decides the matter.The Central government had subsequently told the Supreme Court on November 25 that it is proposing to revisit the criteria for determining the EWS reservation. It then constituted an expert committee for the same..Meanwhile, the Centre filed an affidavit before the top court on January 1, stating that it has decided to stick to the existing criteria of ₹8 lakh annual income limit for determination of EWS reservation with respect to the ongoing admissions to the NEET PG courses.The Centre informed the top court that the 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..During the hearing today, SG Mehta submitted that the situation (of doctors protests) was not something which the government had foreseen."We are in a situation which we did not apprehend. We are responding to the bona fide requests of the resident doctors," he said..Senior Advocate Shyam Divan, appearing for the petitioners, submitted that OBC reservation cannot be implemented for this year. "This All India Quota can be altered only after making application to this Court. Should there be any variation, it can only be done after this court orders and not by executive decision. Rules of the game cannot be changed belatedly," he submitted.He also highlighted the timeline of events in this regard."Information brochure for NEET PG was released on Feb 23, 2021 and registration commenced on that date. Last date of registration was March 23, 2021. Rules cannot be changed surely after this. Then it was postponed by 4 months...New date was September 11, 2021. So the new announcement was in July 2021. Impugned notice dated July 29, 2021 was after 5 months exam process began and thus changed rules of game and took away 2,500 seats meant for open category," he said.He maintained that reservation cannot exceed the 50 percent cap set by the Supreme Court in the Indra Sawhney judgment."An executive order cannot nullify a judgment of this court. This right is recognised and created by this Court which is a facet of Article 14," he contended..Senior Advocate Arvind Datar submitted that there was no proper discussion before deciding the criteria for EWS reservations."In a span of three days, the criteria of 8 lakh was announced for EWS with property criteria. Unlike the backward classes committee, where discussions were held with States and experts, here there was no such discussion undertaken. Present report justifies this but there was no study at all. All will be affected by this quota and it was done just without any study," he said.He further questioned whether someone who has money to invest in Fixed Deposits, Provident Fund and makes capital gains in share markets can be termed as belonging to EWS.The hearing in the case will continue tomorrow. .NEET counselling is usually held in March every year, but was delayed in 2021 due to COVID-19. The NEET-PG entrance examination itself was held only in September 2021, and the counselling has not started yet. The admission of around 50,000 resident doctors are, therefore, on hold.The doctors have thus taken to the streets, demanding that the counselling be conducted expeditiously..NEET PG Counselling: The Supreme Court case that has led to doctors' protests.Read a live account of the hearing here.