Rs 8 lakh income limit for EWS reservation in NEET PG admissions to remain, Centre tells Supreme Court

Ahead of the Supreme Court hearing in the NEET post-graduate admissions case to be held on January 6, the Centre has filed an affidavit stating that the Rs 8 lakh annual income criterion for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) reservation will remain.

Rs 8 lakh income limit for EWS reservation in NEET PG admissions to remain, Centre tells Supreme Court

Ahead of the Supreme Court hearing in the NEET post-graduate admissions case to be held on January 6, the Centre has filed an affidavit stating that the Rs 8 lakh annual income criterion for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) reservation will remain.

 

Last month, resident doctors from across the country protested against the delay in the NEET PG admissions process. The Supreme Court had put a stay on the process after a petition challenged the EWS criteria as ‘discriminatory’. The court had asked how the Rs 8 lakh income limit was decided. On Friday, the resident doctors called off their strike on the condition that the NEET PG counselling dates are announced after the January 6 hearing in the Supreme Court.

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CENTRE ACCEPTS COMMITTEE’S RECOMMENDATIONS

 

In its affidavit, the Centre said that it will accept all the recommendations of the three-member committee that was formed to evaluate the EWS criteria.

 

As per this, the current annual family income limit of Rs 8 lakh for EWS reservation will remain. Additionally, the residential asset criterion is to be removed.

 

Those families that own more than five acres of agricultural land will not be eligible for EWS reservation irrespective of annual income.

 

However, these recommendations will apply prospectively and not affect the current admissions cycle. The committee’s report stated that changing the criteria for EWS reservation midway through the admissions process would result in complications.

CENTRE JUSTIFIES RS 8 LAKH LIMIT

In its affidavit, the Centre justified the Rs 8 lakh income limit for EWS reservation in NEET PG admissions. This is in response to the court’s question on the same.

As per the affidavit, the three-member committee examined the background of those who have benefited from EWS reservations so far.

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“Given that there is no evidence of the bunching of EWS candidates at the highest income bracket of Rs 5-8 lakh, the current cut-off of Rs 8 lakhs is not leading to a major problem of the inclusion of undeserving candidates. Despite the fact that the bulk of the qualifying candidates is below Rs 5 lakhs, a somewhat higher threshold is needed which ensures that deserving beneficiaries affected by various factors such as income volatility, size of family, high cost of living in certain locations are not excluded,” the committee report says.