March 22, 2023

obc: Government for early counselling for PG med courses as SC starts EWS quota hearing | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday commenced hearing on petitions challenging the 27% OBC and 10% EWS (reservations for poor among forwards) quotas in admissions to PG medical courses and asked the petitioners and the Centre to conclude by Thursday arguments on the urgent issue – the resolution of which will permit counselling for postgraduate medical seats for 2021-22 academic session with or without the new quotas.
While the EWS quota for jobs and admissions to government educational institutions was notified in January, 2019, the 27% OBC quota in medical admissions (all-India quota) was notified in July last year much after the medical PG examination schedule was announced. Solicitor general Tushar Mehta was told by a bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and A S Bopanna that, “Now that you have revisited the criteria and filed an affidavit annexing the report of the committee, the petitioners’ counsel can give their arguments on the issue. We will hear them and then hear the government on Thursday.”
The SG said, “Now, there is a judicial adjudication on the OBC quota in medical admissions. We, as government, would earnestly request the SC that we would not create a situation where the OBC and the poorest of the general category are deprived of what is legitimately due to them.”
Mehta said the petitions against 10% EWS quota were filed last year though it was notified in January 2019. This has been implemented pan-India for employment and admissions for two years. We are at a stage where the counselling is stuck, from graduation to post-graduation courses. The resident doctors have concerns and we feel their concerns are genuine.”
Referring to a resurgence of the Covid pandemic and possible shortage of doctors due to non-completion of counselling, the SG said, “We are facing a different type of situation. The society cannot afford to go into reservation policy and lengthy arguments over the issue right now.”
“But it is for the court to see whether the committee report, and the acceptance of the recommendations are in broad conformity with the string of rulings by the SC. I will be able to satisfy the court that the EWS criteria is not over-inclusive. So, let the counselling proceed and then the SC can examine the issue in detail.” Senior advocate Shyam Divan said the counselling should be resumed without OBC quota as it was notified in July, months after the examination schedule was announced in February last year. “It is against all canons of law to change the rules after the game has begun,” he said.
Divan said the SC has consistently ruled that reservation quantum should not exceed 50% at any cost but the addition of 37% quota for OBC and EWS category together has pushed the existing reservation of 22% for SC and ST much beyond the limit fixed by the court in a string of judgments.

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