Just in: NEET-PG Counselling put on hold until SC decides on reservation for OBC, EWS in All India Quota

Staying the counselling which was scheduled to start today, the court said the students would be in 'a serious problem otherwise'. The next hearing of the case is on October 28  
Pic: Edexlive
Pic: Edexlive

The central government has put National Eligibility cum Entrance Test-Postgraduate (NEET-PG) counselling on hold given the fact that the Supreme Court has yet to pass judgment in the case on the validity of reservations in the NEET All India Quota (AIQ). The counselling, which was slated to begin today has been postponed until after the verdict from the SC is out. 

The ongoing case in the Supreme Court concerns a bunch of petitions signed by NEET aspirants against the July 29 order of the Indian Government which reserved 27 per cent of the All India Quota under NEET for Other Backward Classes (OBC), and 10 per cent for the Economically WEaker sections (EWS).

With the counselling for the NEET-PG seats scheduled to begin today, the three-judge bench including Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice Vikram Nath and Justice BV Nagaratha admitted an appeal by Senior Advocate Arvind Datar, who is appearing for the petitioners, requested the court's interference in the matter, over concerns that admissions might happen under the divisions specified by the government even as the matter stays in the court. 

Additional Solicitor General (ASG) KM Nataraj reassured the court that the centre will put the counselling on hold until the court gives its verdict. "Students will be in a serious problem otherwise," said Justice Chandrachud while recording the ASG's statement.

In a hearing last week, the court had asked the centre to provide an affidavit explaining the criteria set for categorising Economically Weaker Sections at an income of Rupees 8 Lakh per annum. The next hearing is scheduled for October 28.

In the meantime, on Saturday, the DMK government in Tamil Nadu had filed a statement in the matter, requesting the court to dismiss the petitions that challenge the reservations for the OBC and EWS. The DMK said that reservations are an affirmative action that corrects the discrimination and inequity that marginalised communities had to face in medical education in the last 13 years. They do not, as the petitioners say, 'suck away at the seats.'

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