Order on EWS criteria will apply for ‘22-23 NEET admissions also: Supreme Court

Order on EWS criteria will apply for ‘22-23 NEET admissions also: SC

Decision expected in March will apply, says Justice Chandrachud

The Supreme Court on Monday said whatever it decides on the criteria to identify Economically Weaker Section (EWS) for granting benefits of reservation will apply in NEET-PG 2022-23 admissions as well.

“We have not stalled the process of determining the EWS criteria for next academic year. We have said EWS quota will be as per our order. We have kept the matter in March for disposal. The process cannot stop. Whatever we will decide will apply,” a Bench led by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud addressed the petitioners.

The court was hearing a petition filed by Varun Dileepbhai Bhatt and others on the applicability of the EWS criteria in NEET PG 2022-2023 exam. Advocate Charu Mathur, appearing for the students, said they had sought an extension of the deadline for edit option in the online forms with respect to the EWS norms.

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The Bench said it cannot grant any such extension of the edit window and if the authorities have taken a call, then it should be as it is. “Whatever happens in the matter, it will govern, because that is our jurisdiction under Article 32,” Justice Chandrachud said.

Some MBBS doctors, who have also filed a plea, sought direction to the Centre to specify in an information bulletin that the EWS criteria for academic session 2022-23 would be decided in terms of the pleas challenging the amended reservation policy (27% OBC and 10% EWS) in the All India Quota for the NEET. They too had urged for an extension of the date for the edit window from February 11, 2022 to enable the candidates to choose EWS category after the final decision in the pending matter.

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On January 20, the top court had said merit cannot be reduced to narrow definitions of performance in an open competitive examination which only provides formal equality of opportunity. It had upheld the 27% reservation for OBCs in All India Quota (AIQ) seats in the NEET for UG and PG medical courses. EOM

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