Supreme Court upholds validity of OBC Quota in NEET Admissions

Tags: National News

The Supreme Court in a judgement delivered on 20 January 2022, upheld the constitutional validity of providing a 27 %  quota  to the Other Backward Classes (OBC) in the National Eligibility Cum Entrance (NEET) All India Quota (AIQ) seats for Undergraduates and Postgraduates  medical courses noting that “high score are  not the sole criteria for merit “ .

  • It upheld its January 7 order allowing reservation for Other Backward Classes (OBC) in the NEET undergraduate and postgraduate admissions for 2021-22.
  • The Supreme Court gave its judgement on a petition filed by doctors  in August 2021 challenging reservation for OBC and EWS by the central government in the All India Quota (AIQ) seats in state government medical institutions.

Main points of SC Judgement 

  • The court also pronounced that there will be no stay on the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) criteria for admission to NEET-PG and the existing criteria (Rs 8 lakh gross annual income cut-off) will apply to the current admission year.
  • The Supreme court  held that providing reservations to AIQ is a policy decision that would not be subject to judicial review. There was no need for the Central government to seek prior consent of the Court before introducing the OBC quota.
  • The court also held that the State government has power  to provide reservation under article 15 (4) and (5) of the constitution and was not an exception to article 15(1) which provides that “ State shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds only  of religion ,race,caste,sex,place of birth or any of them” .
  • The court held that the power of the State government to craft reservation policy for the OBC amplified the principle of “ Substantive Equality “ as manifested in article 15(1) of the constitution . 

The Supreme Court decision on the issue of providing a 10% quota to the EWS  category will be finally heard in the third week of March 2022. 

Also see December 1 2021 and 10 January 2022 post

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