With yet again delay in NEET PG Counselling 2021, Medical Aspirants in dilemma
Mumbai: As the legal complications regarding the OBC and EWS quota reservations in the All India Quota medical seats are yet to be sorted, lakhs of students are anxious and worried over the pending counselling process for admission to several medical courses.
The matter, which was sub judice till now, has now been deferred by one month as the Central Government has decided to revisit the Rs 8 lakh annual income limit set for determining the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS).
It has been revealed during the hearing of the case on November 26, that the Central Government will take a fresh decision regarding the matter within four weeks. With this, the counselling process for the All India Quota seats in both UG and PG medical courses have been postponed for an indefinite period of time.
Medical Dialogues had earlier reported that the top court was moved by a batch of pleas challenging the Centre and Medical Counselling Committee's (MCC) July 29th dated notification providing 27 per cent reservation for OBC and 10 per cent for EWS category for PG Medical admissions via NEET PG Counselling 2021.
With this, as the Central Government reservation policy is applicable for the All India Quota seats in UG medical admission as well, the admission process has been stuck for MBBS courses too.
Both the NEET-UG and NEET-PG examinations were held in September 2021, after both getting postponed due to the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. The UG entrance results were published too after a lot of hurdles as the Bombay High Court had directed NTA to conduct fresh test for two candidates.
However, even after the publication of results for both of these entrance tests, the admission process is still pending due to the legal complications pending before the top court.
While commenting on the matter, Dr Pravin Shingare, former director, Directorate of Medical Education and Research told the Times of India, "Since the July 29 circular is applicable to all-India quota seats in UG too, MBBS admissions also cannot commence in state. The first round of admissions in the state can start only after the first all-India round concludes."
Further mentioning the reviewing the EWS criteria might affect other admissions as well, a government official told the daily, "NEET-PG 2022 is scheduled to be held in March. With this year's batch still in limbo, we don't know how another batch could be managed."
Upset over this continuous delay, a senior medical practitioner and parent of an aspirant told Hindustan Times, "The apex court should have allowed interim relief to this batch of students that has already been through a lot including Covid-19, delay in conducting the entrance exam as well as delay in announcement of results. A course which usually starts regular classes by October every year will now start the process only in January next year."
"While admissions are stayed, nothing is stopping the state common entrance test (CET) cell from starting the registration and document verification process for UG and PG medical aspirants. Once the state merit list is announced, students will get a decent idea about where they stand in the state and which course they will be eligible for. The CET cell should not waste any more time," a parent and an activist told HT.
However, this delay is proving to be costly not only for the aspirants but for the resident doctors working at the hospitals as well. As the previous year's batch has already left and the new batch is yet to join, the resident doctors currently working at the institutes are paying the price for acute shortage of manpower and dealing with immense workload.
Already doctors under the umbrella of several associations such as the Federation of Resident Doctors' Association (FORDA), Federation of All India Medical Association (FAIMA) and Indian Medical Association Junior Doctors Network (IMA-JDN) have decided to go on indefinite strike seeking immediate counselling.
Urging the Chief Justice of India to take suo moto cognisance of this issue and shift the matter to fast track court, FAIMA has organized to hold a black badge protest and candle march on November 27. FORDA has decided to stop parcipating in all the OPD services from Saturday onwards.