Pinnacle court adjourns listing on plea regarding Economic Weaker Section quota in NEET Post Graduation

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The Supreme Court on Thursday adjourned the hearing on a plea referring to the Economically Weaker Section within the All-India Quota within the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test examination.

A bench headed by Justice DY Chandrachud said that it'll list it the week after next.

Senior Advocate Arvind Datar mentioned petitions saying that the bench is sitting till lunch and thus matter is unlikely to be taken today. He also apprised the Court that the exam is on May 23 and also the results are going to be announced on May 30.

The Supreme Court was hearing a matter regarding reservation to EWS quota in NEET PG.

Earlier, the Supreme Court had said that merit should be socially contextualized and reconceptualized as an instrument that advances social goods that society values like equality.

The top court had said, “Merit can not be reduced to narrow definitions of performance in an open competitive examination which only provides formal equality of opportunity” while upholding the constitutional validity of reservations for the opposite Backward Classes and therefore the Economically Weaker Section within the All-India Quota within the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test examination.

Rejecting the pleas challenging the constitutional validity of OBC reservation in AIQ seats, the court had said that “the Union Government wasn't required to hunt the permission of this Court before providing reservation in AIQ seats”.

On January 7, the Supreme Court allowed NEET-PG Counselling for 2021-2022 supported existing EWS/OBC reservation criteria.

The apex court had given a green signal to 27 per cent reservation for Other Backward Class (OBC) and 10 per cent for Economically Weaker Section (EWS) category within the All-India Quota (AIQ) seats for the admission process within the NEET as existing criteria this year.

However, within the case of the EWS category, the Supreme Court had said that the ten per cent criteria, which were notified earlier, shall still operate for this year so the admissions process shall not be dislocated for this year.

The Court had said that it'll hear the matter referring to EWS later and listed it for the third week in March for further hearing.

The Court had noted that there's an urgent have to commence the method of counselling and so it issued some interim direction.

On December 31, the Centre filed an affidavit stating that it's decided to stay to the prevailing criteria of Rs 8 lakh annual income limit for determination of 10 per cent EWS reservation with reference to the continued admissions to the NEET postgraduate courses.

The Centre had informed the apex court that an Expert Committee constituted by the govt to reassess the factors, suggested that the present criteria could also be continued for ongoing admissions while the revised criteria suggested by the Committee is also adopted from the following admission cycle.

Changing the EWS criteria midway will result in complications, the Committee had opined while recommending the introduction of revised EWS criteria from the following school year.