The Centre has told the Supreme Court that it has decided to accept the recommendations of a committee set up by it to retain the Rs 8 lakh annual income limit for the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) quota for NEET-PG (All India Quota) for the current admission cycle and to adopt the changes — regarding tweaks on how to apply the income limit — from the next admission cycle.

What

  1. The government said this in an affidavit filed in the Supreme Court which is seized of petitions challenging the EWS issue in NEET-AIQ.
  2. The petitions have challenged the 29 July notification of the Medical Counselling Committee (MCC) providing 27 per cent reservation for OBCs and 10 per cent quota to the EWS category in the NEET-PG (All India Quota).
  3. Responding to this, the Centre told the Court on 25 November 2021, that it will revisit the criteria and sought four weeks’ time to complete the exercise.
  4. In the fresh affidavit dated 31 December, the government said that it had in accordance with the assurance to the court constituted a three-member committee comprising former Finance Secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey, Member Secretary ICSSR V K Malhotra and Principal Economic Advisor to GOI Sanjeev Sanyal.
  5. The affidavit also enclosed the report which favoured the Rs 8 lakh-limit that has continued since 2019 but suggested some changes on how to apply the same.
  6. The current gross annual family income limit for EWS of Rs 8 lakh or less may be retained. In other words, only those families whose annual income is up to Rs 8 lakh would be eligible to get the benefit of EWS reservation.
  7. The definition of ‘family’ and income would remain the same as those in the OM dated 17th January, 2019.