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NEET PG 2021: Supreme Court Dismisses Plea Seeking Further Reduction Of Cut-Off By 5 Percentile

Shruti Kakkar
2 May 2022 9:10 AM GMT
NEET PG 2021: Supreme Court Dismisses Plea Seeking Further Reduction Of Cut-Off By 5 Percentile
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The Supreme Court on Monday refused to entertain a Miscellaneous Application seeking further reduction of the cut-off for NEET-PG 2021 by 5 percentile, The bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and Surya Kant in their order said, "This court would not be inclined to interfere unless there is any manifest arbitrariness. The Union Government took the decision after due...

The Supreme Court on Monday refused to entertain a Miscellaneous Application seeking further reduction of the cut-off for NEET-PG 2021 by 5 percentile,

The bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and Surya Kant in their order said,

"This court would not be inclined to interfere unless there is any manifest arbitrariness. The Union Government took the decision after due consideration of reducing the percentile of 15. Reduction of 5 percentile would be trenching upon the academic/ policy domain. Hence we find no merit in this MA".

The MA was filed in the writ petition wherein the petitioners had sought for permission to participate in NEET PG Counselling for 2021 for allotment of remaining vacant seats under the Competent Authority Quota as well as Management Quota for PG Diploma/Degree Courses for the academic year from all the candidates who appeared for NEET PG with no qualifying marks.

Since the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in consultation with the National Medical Commission decided that there shall be a reduction across all categories of 15 percentile for admission to the NEET PG courses, the Top Court on March 14, 2022 had granted the petitioners liberty to adopt appropriate proceedings in accordance with law, including by applying for revival of present proceedings if they still have any subsisting grievance.

Appearing for the petitioner, Advocate Prashant Bhushan had submitted that pursuant to the reduction of the qualifying percentile, there were 1500 seats which were vacant. Against this backdrop, he contended that a further reduction of 5 percentile would result in students gaining more admission. He also contended that reduction of the same may be considered in light of the decision taken by the Union Government last year for reduction of the same by 20 percentile.

Appearing for the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati tendered a statement placing on record certain data. Relying on the said statement, she said that initially 92,000 candidates were eligible for counseling for 40,000 seats which were available at PG stage & after lowering of percentile, another 25,000 candidates became eligible. She further contended that a total of 6206 seats were available in the mop up round and after 4747 candidates joined, 1459 seats remained vacant. She further said that 1177 seats have been allotted leaving only 288 seats vacant. Results were to be declared on May 2 2022 and the last date for reporting is May 7. It was also her contention that the seats which are vacant pertain to pre para subjects which are teaching subjects for which the seats generally remain vacant.

In the MA, the doctors had also sought for waiver of the qualification mark in NEET PG for securing their admission in the vacant seats after the Mop Up counseling held by the respective state convening Universities as per the schedule given by the MCC.

"Proviso to the Regulation 9 (3) of the PostGraduate Medical Education Regulations, 2000

provides the power of the central Government to lower the minimum marks required for admission to postgraduate courses for candidates of respective categories in its discretion and consultation to MCI (now National Medical Commission) when a sufficient number of candidates of respective categories in its discretion and in consultation with MCI (now NMC) when a sufficient number of candidates in respective categories fail to secure minimum marks as prescribed in NEET-PG for any particular academic year. In fact, the Central Government has acknowledged the applicability of this power under proviso to Regulation 9 (3) of the Post Graduate Medical Education Regulations, 2000, and it has already revised the cut-off marks on 14.07.2020. However, then the revised cut-off marks have not resulted in any considerable increase in the number of admissions in the vacant P.G. seats. Hence, in exercising this power, the Central Government may completely relax the minimum eligibility requirement/ cut off marks in light of the present situation of the ongoing COVID19 Pandemic," the plea stated.

Relief was also sought for conducting an additional round of mop up round counseling. Petitioners had also sought relief for allowing them to participate in NEET PG Counseling 2021 and allot vacant seats under the available quota for Academic Year from all the candidates who appeared for NEET PG with no qualifying mark.

The MA has been filed through Advocate Ramesh Alanki and Aruna Gupta.

Case Title: Neppali Sai Vikash And Ors. V. Union Of India And Ors.| MA 735/2022 in W.P.(C) No. 124/2022


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