Written by: Shikha Singh (Intern)
Edited by: Anubhav Yadav (Content Head & Developer)
The vexed questions of NEET-PG admissions have taken a centre stage of controversial digests. The issue started last year when the country was engulfed by the lethal second wave of covid and all the activities and grind was at unprecedented halt. Due to the upsurge in cases and health crisis, NEET-PG entrance exam was postponed. The exam finally took place in the month of September 2020 after a series of great conundrums caused with regards to date. The interlude in exams caused a sense of anxiety and panic among the aspirants.
NEET (National Eligibility cum Entrance Test) is a national level medical entrance which acts as an entry gate for all aspiring doctors to get into their desired medical colleges based on their merit. NEET formerly happened as All India Pre-Medical Test (AIPMT) replaced most of the major medical entrances happening across the country) who conduct qualifying tests for MBBS and BDS programmes in Indian medical and dental colleges. NEET-PG is conducted by an autonomous board- National Board of Examination in Medical Sciences which comes under the ministry of Family and Welfare.
This year due to the delay in exams and extra complacency and uncertainty of the NEET-PG counseling left the students baffled and worried about the time that was being wasted by the authorities to start the admission process. This enraged the resident doctors who initiated a protest for the same in the capital city. The protest was started by the Federation of Resident Doctors Association (FORDA) and later accompanied the doctor from AIIMS as well.
Courts on The Issue
The protest soon got into turmoil between the protesters and police. Soon the matter got wrapped in the arms of legal tussle and reached the apex court. The seat allocation in NEET PG is divided in two ways- State based quota and All India based quota. In India, we have three categories to apply for securing a seat- ST, SC PwD; this was the case till year 2020. Later in 2021 the union government decided to increase two more categories – OBCs and EWS. This was the result of the agitation shown in various states who took constitutional amendment 103 of 2019 as a ground. The most prominent was in the Madras High Court which laid the foundation of reserving 27% seats for OBC and 10% for EWS. The trouble that came to light was relating to EWS where the government has kept a limit that those who have an income below 8 lacs per annum will be covered in this. The contested question was whether applying a uniform parameter would be a coherent measure to deal with the EWS community. This was challenged because India is a huge nation with varied living standards and income disparities. Even the top court claimed by taunting the union government that you are creating a society where you are comparing unequal’s as equals. The court ordered the government to bring in the data belonging to demographic and sociological conditions which they gauged to come to such a conclusion. This halted the NEET-PG counseling as the attorney representing the union government took a long to come up with something substantial in the courtroom. Recently in the final hearing for the case, the Supreme Court finally upheld the desired reservation which the union reiterated to be followed for academic session 2021-22 and fixed the further hearing for the last week of March. Court also assumed that this should initiate the counseling process for NEET -PG 2022 in all the respective courses as soon as possible.