Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Sunday said the counselling process for NEET-PG 2021 will begin from January 12. Mandaviya said the move will strengthen the fight against COVID-19.
"As assured by the Ministry of Health to the resident doctors, following the order of the Honourable Supreme Court, the NEET-PG counselling is being started by the Medical Counselling Committee from January 12, 2022. This will give more strength to the country in the fight against Corona. My best wishes to all the candidates," Mandaviya said in a tweet in Hindi.
The NEET-PG exam was held on September 11, 2021, after being rescheduled twice in January and April. Its results were declared in the last week of September following which students for nearly 45,000 postgraduate seats had been waiting for the counselling to begin. Resident doctors of various medical colleges across the entire country last month held protests and boycotted work demanding expedition of the counselling.
The Supreme Court had on Friday paved the way for starting the stalled NEET-PG 2021 counselling process based on the existing 27 percent OBC and 10 percent EWS reservations in the All India Quota seats, saying there is an "urgent need" to begin the admission process.
A bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and AS Bopanna, which had for two consecutive days heard the matter on applicability of Rs 8 lakh annual income criteria for determination of economically weaker section (EWS), passed an interim order, saying "there is an urgent need to commence the process of counselling".
The apex court passed the interim order on a batch of pleas filed by doctors challenging a July 29, 2021, notice of the Centre and the Medical Counselling Committee (MCC) providing 27 percent reservation for OBC and 10 percent for EWS in the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET-PG) admissions for medical courses for the academic year 2021-22.
The doctors, who challenged the July 29 last year notification for applicability of quotas, were represented by senior advocate Arvind Datar and advocate Tanvi Dubey, and Solicitor General Tushar Mehta and Additional Solicitor General KM Nataraj represented the Centre. Several impleadment applications were also filed including by the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and individual parties represented by advocate Shashank Ratnoo for the implementation of OBC and EWS quotas from 2021-22.
The Federation of Resident Doctors' Association (FORDA) said that every year approximately 45,000 candidates are selected as postgraduate (PG) doctors through the NEET-PG and delay in counselling has led to a situation where no junior doctors have been inducted 2021. Second and third-year PG doctors are handling patients and are facing increased workload due to the Covid pandemic, FORDA had said.
With inputs from PTI
First Published: Jan 9, 2022 2:35 PM IST