Several young resident doctors have been protesting in Delhi for the past few days, with police action against them generating a huge controversy..While the protests initially took place outside the Nirman Bhawan building which houses the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, a group of doctors attempted to march to the Supreme Court on Monday before the Delhi Police intervened and stopped them..But what is the reason for their protests and what are their demands?The genesis of their protests lies in the delay in the counselling for postgraduate (PG) courses under the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for the year 2021.The protesting resident doctors had qualified the exams for PG courses and are awaiting the counselling process so that admissions can start. 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 this year and the counselling has not started yet.The admissions of around 50,000 resident doctors are, therefore, on hold. The doctors are demanding that the counselling be conducted expeditiously..Why has the NEET PG counselling been delayed?A three-judge Bench of the Supreme Court is hearing petitions challenging the 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.As part of the same, the apex court is examining the feasibility of having ₹8 lakh as a cap for candidates to avail the EWS quota. 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..What doubts did the Court express on the ₹8 lakh limit for EWS reservations?A Bench headed by Justice DY Chandrachud had noted that the income limit of ₹8 lakh for EWS is the same as the cut-off for the exclusion of creamy layer for the Other Backward Classes (OBCs).It, therefore, expressed serious reservations on whether any study was conducted at all before fixing the limit for EWS."You must have some demographic or sociological or socio economic data. You just cannot pull out ₹8 lakh from thin air. The only thing you say is parity with OBC," the Court had remarked on October 21..What will be scope of hearing before the top court?The Court said that it is proposing to form the following issues:1. Whether the Centre undertook an exercise before arriving at the criteria to determine EWS?2. If the answer is affirmative, then was the criteria fixed, based on Sinha Commission report?"It would be necessary for the Centre to disclose before the court the nature of exercise undertaken in accordance with Article 15(2). We make it clear that we are not entering area of policy but need the disclosure for adhering to constitutional principles," the Court had further directed..What is the Centre's stand on the EWS criteria?The Central government told the Supreme Court on November 25 that it is proposing to revisit the criteria for determining EWS reservation.Why was the case adjourned?The government told the top court that it will take four weeks to revisit the EWS criteria and till then, the counselling process for PG medical courses would be deferred.The Court, therefore, listed the matter for further hearing on January 6, 2022..What are the doctors demanding now?The doctors are demanding that the hearing be expedited so that counselling and subsequent admission process can restart at the earliest.