PG medical counselling: Centre requests SC to advance hearing on EWS income cap plea

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New Delhi: The Union Ministry of Health has appealed to the Supreme Court to advance the hearing of a plea regarding the income cap for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) among the forward communities eligible for seat reservation.

The ministry is pressing for an urgent settlememt of the case as this year's admission to post-graduate medical courses across the country has stalled and the PG resident doctors are on a warpath against the delay in commencing seat counselling for the new batch.

The apex court had earlier challenged the central government’s decision to fix the income limit for reservation for economically weaker sections at Rs 8 lakh. The case has been listed on January 6, allowing the government enough time to rethink about the guidelines.

However, it is likely that that the committee constituted by the central government may submit its report before December 20. In that case, the Ministry of Health is considering whether the hearing could be held earlier and the counselling could be completed as early as possible.

The resident PG doctors are on a strike citing the difficulties faced by the candidates who are awaiting counselling and also the job burden of resident doctors who have completed their PG course.

Meanwhile, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya met the protestors at the RML Hospital in Delhi. The letter requesting the SC for early scheduling of the hearing was submitted after the minister had promised that the issue would be resolved immediately.

Almost 1.6 lakh young doctors, who are expecting PG admissions this year in the All-India Quota, are now apprehensive that they are going to lose a precious academic year as the admission process is already late by nearly a year owing to the delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Adding to their concern the court proceedings in the EWS case has prolonged.

The Central Government had earlier announced that it would not start PG counselling till January 6 when the Supreme Court takes up the EWS income limit case. The court proceedings are delayed as the government is mulling a rethink on the Rs 8 lakh income limit which would enable the EWS category to claim reservation benefits.

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