New Delhi, 27 October 2021 – The Medical Counselling Committee (MCC) has postponed the NEET PG-2021 counselling until the Supreme Court of India decides on the reservation issue related to the Other Backward Classes (OBC) and Economically Weaker Section (EWS) quotas.
Earlier, NEET PG counselling was scheduled to begin on 25 October. However, the SC has a pending case wherein the Centre has to provide the relevant benchmarks that led to its decision to provide 27% reservation to OBC and 10% reservation to EWS candidates for admissions to medical courses. Depending on the rationality of the benchmarks, the top court has also asked the government whether it wants to revisit the criteria.
The issue of NEET reservation criteria 2021 came to light because the central government established the reservation criteria without informing the Supreme Court. Due to this, the top court wanted to verify whether constitutional principles were accounted for in the creation of these reservations, especially for the 10% reservation for the EWS category.
What Is The NEET Reservation Criteria 2021 For EWS Category Students?
The Economically Weaker Section (EWS) is the category of people who have an annual family income of less than INR 8 lakhs and who do not belong to any backward class category such as SC/ST/OBC. This is fundamentally a new section created as a subcategory for the general category.
According to the central government, students belonging to the EWS category will get 10% reservation for admissions in medical courses.
Why is the SC Unhappy with the NEET Reservation Criteria 2021?
The court has clarified that it does not want to interfere with the policy domain but only wants to know the basis on which the reservation for the OBC and EWS categories has been decided.
Regarding the issue, Justice Chandrachud told Additional Solicitor General KM Nataraj, “You just cannot pull out 8 lakh from thin air…you are making unequals equals by applying the Rs 8 lakh limit”.
As the top judicial authority in India, the SC has fixed a total cap of 50% on the reservation in medical courses. However, introducing 27% reservation for OBC and 10% for EWS would take the total reservation limit beyond the mandated cap and might cause an imbalance in the current educational system.