The Union government told the pinnacle court that they will revisit Rs 8 lakh annual income limit on EWS category for NEET (PG)

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The Union government told the Supreme Court that it has taken an examined resolution to revisit the limit of eight lakh rupees annual income fixed for determining the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) category for reservation in NEET admissions for Post-Graduate medical courses.

A bench of Justices DY Chandrachud, Surya Kant, and Vikram Nath was informed by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta that a committee will be constituted to determine the criteria for EWS and it would take four weeks.

Mr. Mehta, appearing for the Government along with Additional Solicitor General K.M. Natraj, said they have been instructed to submit that a committee would be set up to review the “criteria” to identify the EWS category.

Taking note of this development, Senior Advocate Arvind P Datar, appearing for the petitioners, suggested that the implementation of the EWS could be postponed to next academic year, as the admissions for this year are already delayed.

The EWS quota was meant for persons who earned less than ₹8 lakh annually and did not benefit from any other existing reservation.

In a previous hearing, the apex court had expressed its annoyance at the Government for not filing an affidavit explaining how it reached the ₹8 lakh figure to identify the EWS category.

The NEET PG was conducted on September 12 and the provisional answer key was released on October 15, 2021. Around 16 lakh students have appeared for the examination this year.

However, the counselling by the MCC is yet to start.
Because of the pending decision on the OBC/EWS (economic weaker section) quota in the all-India quota for medical admissions, the Supreme Court stayed the counselling for NEET-PG without its approval, after the Centre assured it not to commence the counselling before any court decision.

The top court had clarified that it is not embarking on the policy domain of the government, but it wants to ascertain whether the constitutional principles have adhered.

The Bench scheduled the case next on January 6.