NEET counselling postponed: Centre to revisit Rs 8 lakh annual income criteria for EWS quota
The Centre will constitute a committee with a deadline of four weeks to ascertain criteria for determining EWS category.
The Centre on Thursday told the Supreme Court that it will revisit the Rs 8 lakh income limit criteria to determine the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) for reservation in National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) admission for 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.
Till then, there will be no counselling for NEET, said Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Centre. The court has given the Centre a month's time and the next hearing of the case will be held on January 6.
Hearing the plea earlier, the SC had asked the Centre to explain what exercise it had undertaken to arrive at the Rs 8 lakh annual income criteria to identify EWS students eligible for reservation in medical seats under the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test – All India Quota (NEET-AIQ).
The top court told Centre its EWS quota is very enabling, and progressive kind of reservation and States must support the Centre in its endeavour. The bench said that the only question is that determination of the category should be in a scientific manner, and it appreciates that the Centre has taken a decision to revisit the criteria earlier fixed.
Senior advocate Arvind Datar, appearing for petitioners (students), suggested that the implementation of the EWS could be postponed to next academic year, as the admissions for this year are already delayed, LiveLaw reported.
The bench agreed with the submission of Datar and asked Mehta whether it could push the implementation of the constitutional amendment for the next academic year and allow the counselling to go on for the current academic year.
The top court is hearing a batch of pleas filed by students challenging the Centre and Medical Counselling Committee’s (MCC) July 29 notice, providing 27 per cent reservation for Other Backward Class (OBC) and 10 per cent for EWS category in the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET-PG) admissions for medical courses for the current academic year.