All Latest Updates| NEET PG 2021 Counselling

All Latest Updates
January 3, 2022

While the world is struggling to control the spread of the ‘highly transmissible’ Omicron variant of coronavirus, doctors in India have been on the road for more than a month. The protest started due to the delayed counselling of the NEET PG Counselling 2021. For the unversed, the Resident Doctors have been protesting since November 27 against multiple postponements of the NEET PG Counseling 2021 and subsequent admission of the fresh batch of resident doctors to medical colleges.

NEET-PG and Counselling Procedures Explained

National Eligibility and Entrance Test for Postgraduate (NEET-PG) is a qualifying and ranking exam that can be used to get admission in over a hundred medical colleges – government and private. As a result of the NEET scores and percentiles, a merit list is prepared, and the whole pool of seats for Diploma, MD, and MS is divided in half. Students who live in a state can get admitted to colleges within that state, while students from any other state can get admitted to colleges across the country regardless of their residence. A centralised process is used for allotment of seats, and DGHS conducts such a process for the all-India quota.

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Why Are The Doctors Protesting?

As the country is on the verge of experiencing the third wave of the omicron variant of the coronavirus, the designated doctors in several leading hospitals are protesting. The cause is said to be the unnecessary and unexplainable delay in the NEET PG 2021 Counselling.

This examination is usually conducted by the National Board of Examinations (NBE) in January, but, in the year 2021, due to the increasing covid, the exam schedule was postponed many times in the wake of a second wave of coronavirus. The NEET PG 2021 was finally conducted on 12th December, 2021, however, the admissions process for medical colleges got delayed, which sparked the protest, in the first place.

According to doctors protesting since November 27, 2021, the withheld counselling has led to a shortage of 45,000 doctors on the front line.

Indian Medical Association (IMA) wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 24 urging him to resolve the NEET-PG counselling crisis and augment manpower to combat a possible third wave of the Coronavirus pandemic.

The situation escalated quickly with the conflict between the protesting doctors and police causing Resident Doctors’ Body FAIMA to announce the complete withdrawal of healthcare services across the country from Dec 29.

The protesting doctors also claimed that the government made a “fake promise”. In addition, they noted that the NEET-PG 2021 batch’s counseling has been delayed by eight months due to an “acute shortage” of resident doctors across the nation.

The situation got further worse in the capital city of the country, after which the resident doctors called for a total shutdown of medical services in Delhi hospitals. The Federation of Resident Doctors’ Association (FORDA) called it a ‘black day’ in the history of the medical community and said all healthcare institutions will be closed today.

What is the issue behind the pleas being filed against the reservation quota in NEET?

Several petitions had been filed challenging the Centre and Medical Counselling Committee (MCC) on the July 29 notice providing 27% OBC and 10% EWS seats for NEET PG medical program. Back on September 17, the Supreme Court decided to begin hearing on the matter.

For EWS reservation benefit, candidates must earn a minimum income of Rs 8 lakh per annum, according to the MCC notice. The amount, however, is in dispute.

In the process of the hearing, the SC said that Rs 8 lakh per year was set as the benchmark for the ‘creamy layer’ under the OBC, or an OBC subclass that is more advanced. As a result, they were no longer eligible for reservation benefits. In EWS, however, the limit was Rs 8 lakh per annum.

According to the Centre, a limit of Rs 8 lakh for the EWS category is a matter of policy based on the National Cost of Living Index. Earlier, the Supreme Court had asked the reason for the discrepancy in the limit amount. In response, the court asked if any surveys or reports had been conducted. In addition to this, the court asked if reservation benefits were eligible.

As a result, the Supreme Court halted NEET PG counselling until this issue could be resolved. Before the hearing on January 6, the government will be required to answer questions from the Supreme Court.

What is the current scenario?

In addition to agreeing to submit the Committee Report to the Supreme Court before January 6, the Health Ministry said that no punitive or disciplinary measures would be taken against the resident doctors who took part in the agitation.

“The MoHFW will submit the Committee Report to the Supreme Court of India before 6th January, 2022 and will publish the NEET-PG 2021 Counselling schedule following the Court hearing on 6th January, 2022. The MoHFW regrets the brutal incident of violence by Delhi Police against Resident Doctors who were protesting peacefully on 27th December, 2021. No punitive or disciplinary action will be taken by the authorities against any Resident Doctor who took part in the agitation that commenced on 27th November, 2021,” it said in a release.

“A virtual meeting of FORDA with all RDA Representatives was convened late in the evening whereby all the proceedings were conveyed and all concerning points were discussed in detail. It was unanimously decided to call off the agitation on 31st December, 2021, 12:00 p.m., considering various factors including patient care,” it further stated.

“Healthcare services might have been affected during this month-long agitation of Resident Doctors. However, for each one of us, it is the nation that always comes first and as an association of Resident Doctors who are working at the ground level, we will always strive for improving the healthcare sector of the nation,” it said thanking “every Resident Doctor, Media personnel, political parties and citizen of the nation who came forward” to extend their support.”

As the Supreme Court is looking into the matter of quota for Economically Weaker Sections, the admission process and college allocation for NEET undergraduate and postgraduate students is stuck in a legal limbo.

The centre has filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court of India regarding the reservation of EWS seats in AIQ. In the affidavit, the centre stated that the criteria for EWS reservation will remain the same for the current academic year, and the new rules will be implemented next year.

As the original date of the Supreme Court hearing is January 6, 2022, the NEET PG 2021 counselling schedule is expected this week. Centre submitted a request to the Apex Court urging that it hear the EWS, OBC reservation in All India Quota, AIQ matter tomorrow or no later than January 5, 2022.

The Centre has now requested an urgent listing of NEET PG 2021 counselling matters. It is, therefore, expected that the counselling for NEET UG as well as NEET PG would start from January 6, 2022 onwards.