Published: 29th April 2022
In May second week, Supreme Court to hear plea relating to the EWS quota in NEET PG
The Centre had formulated a committee for relooking at the EWS reservation criteria and it was the committee's recommendation that the annual income criteria of Rupees eight lakh be retained
The petitions challenging the validity of Rupees eight lakh annual income limit as the upper limit for seeking Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) reservation in the All India Quota for NEET admissions have been posted by the Supreme Court for the second week of next month, that is, May.
It was the request of Senior Advocate Arvind Datar to the bench Justices DY Chandrachud and Bela M Trivedi to hear the matter on an urgent basis as it was on May 23 that the next NEET-PG exams were scheduled and the results would be out on May 30, 2022. To which Justice Chandrachud said, "We can keep it the week after next." This was stated in a report by LiveLaw.in.
It may be recalled that on January 7, 2022, the Supreme Court had permitted the counselling process for NEET-PG and UG to commence for the 2021-22 admission cycle. This was permitted on the basis of the existing 27 per cent quota for Other Backward Classes (OBC) and 10 per cent reservation for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) in the All India Quota.
The constitutionality of the 27 per cent OBC reservation was upheld by the court. With regards to the criteria to determine EWS (Rupees eight lakh gross annual income cut-off), the court permitted the existing criteria to function for the current admission year so that there is no further delay in the admission process.
While permitting the same, the top court listed the matter with regards to the criteria determined by the Pandey committee for identifying the EWS for the future for March 2022.
The Centre had formulated a committee for relooking at the EWS reservation criteria and it was the committee's recommendation that the annual income criteria of Rupees eight lakh be retained. But it recommended the exclusion of family who has agricultural land of five acres and above, irrespective of income.
The committee went on to recommend removing the criteria pertaining to residential assets, but also recommended that these be applied only from the next academic year.