Big relief for doctors as Supreme Court gives nod to NEET-PG Admissions for 2021-22

Big relief for doctors as Supreme Court gives nod to NEET-PG Admissions for 2021-22

In a major relief for medicos, the Supreme Court on Friday upheld reservation for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) and Other Backward Castes (OBC) for 2021-22 in the NEET post-graduate admissions case.

Top court allowed 27% reservation for OBCs and 10 per cent for EWS category students in the All-India Quota (AIQ) seats in the NEET-PG exam for admission to medical entrance courses for this year. The ₹ 8 lakh income criterium for the latter group has been similarly cleared.

NEET-PG, or National Eligibility/Entrance Test (Post-Graduate) is a qualifying exam for medical students for admission to over 100 private and government colleges. Those who clear it are given ‘counselling’ – they are directed to universities and colleges based on their marks and aspirations and can work in hospitals under supervision of senior colleagues.

Today’s order means tens of thousands of aspiring doctors – who cleared the NEET-PG exam held in September but could not join colleges due to delayed counselling – can now do so.

Over 45,000 junior doctors can now join the workforce, which comes as India fights a surge of Covid cases – over two lakh in the past 48 hours. This is significant because of the number of doctors infected over the past few days, which means there are fewer who can treat the 3.7 lakh COVID-19 patients as well as lakhs of other suffering from other diseases.
Resident doctors’ associations have been protesting the delay in college allotments, particularly since the September exam was carried over from December 2020, which was postponed because of the pandemic. These protests included a scuffle with police outside Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital after they were stopped from marching to the Supreme Court.

What did the court say?
A bench of justices DY Chandrachud and AS Bopanna said the validity of the EWS criteria will prospectively be subject to court orders. “The submissions that have been urged before this court necessitate a detailed interim order on the eligibility of criteria. The formulation of reasons for EWS reservation would take some time,” the bench said. Detailed hearing on the validity of EWS and OBC reservation will be taken up again in March.