A Supreme Court Bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and AS Bopanna will hear today the case relating to admissions to NEET postgraduate (PG) courses [Neil Aurelio Nunes v. Union of India].
The matter was listed for urgent hearing today after the Central government highlighted the protests by doctors in the national capital seeking expeditious decision in the matter since their admissions have been stalled due to the case.
The case relates to petitions challenging the 27 per cent reservation for Other Backward Classes (OBC) and 10 per cent reservation for 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.
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.
In an affidavit filed on January 1, the Centre told the Court 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 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.
Read live updates from the hearing below.