The Supreme Court has received a letter petition seeking Suo-Motu cognizance of resident doctors’ protest against the delay in NEET-PG counselling. The letter petition was filed by Advocate Vineet Jindal in response to a protest by resident doctors, which was led by the Federation of Resident Doctors Association of India (FORDA). For the past few days, several young resident doctors have been protesting in Delhi, with the police action against them causing widespread outrage.
While the protests began outside the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’s Nirman Bhawan building, a group of doctors attempted to march to the Supreme Court on Monday before Delhi Police intervened and stopped them.
The delay in counselling for the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for postgraduate (PG) courses for the year 2021 is the source of their protests.
The protesting resident doctors had passed the PG exams and are now waiting for the counselling process to begin so that admissions can begin.
NEET counselling is usually held in March each year, but in 2021 it was postponed due to COVID-19. The NEET PG entrance exam was only held in September of this year, and the counselling process has yet to begin. As a result, the admission of approximately 50,000 resident doctors has been put on hold. The doctors are requesting that the counselling be completed as soon as possible.
The income limit of 8 lakh for the EWS is the same as the cut-off for the exclusion of creamy layer for the Other Backward Classes, according to a Bench led by Justice DY Chandrachud (OBCs).
As a result, it expressed serious doubts about whether any research was done before setting the same limit for EWS.
According to the Court, the following issues will be formed in the order for which an affidavit is requested:
- Did the Centre conduct any research before deciding on the criteria for determining EWS?
- If the answer is yes, were the criteria established based on the Sinho Commission report, and if so, where should the criteria be placed?
The doctors are pleading with the court to expedite the hearing so that counselling and the admissions process can resume as soon as possible. The government told the Supreme Court that revisiting the EWS criteria would take four weeks and that the counselling process for PG medical courses would be postponed until then.