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NEET PG- Postgraduate Admissions Must Be Completely Merit-Based, Reservation Must Be Minimal: Shyam Divan To Supreme Court

Mehal Jain
5 Jan 2022 11:48 AM GMT
NEET PG- Postgraduate Admissions Must Be Completely Merit-Based, Reservation Must Be Minimal: Shyam Divan To Supreme Court
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In connection with the EWS/OBC reservation in NEET-AIQ, Senior Advocate Shyam Divan, on Wednesday, told the Supreme Court that Postgraduate admissions must be completely merit-based and reservation must be minimal.Appearing for petitioners focused on NEET-PG, Mr. Diwan with AOR Vivek Singh concentrated his submissions on the 27% OBC reservation."Since we are dealing with postgraduate...

In connection with the EWS/OBC reservation in NEET-AIQ, Senior Advocate Shyam Divan, on Wednesday, told the Supreme Court that Postgraduate admissions must be completely merit-based and reservation must be minimal.

Appearing for petitioners focused on NEET-PG, Mr. Diwan with AOR Vivek Singh concentrated his submissions on the 27% OBC reservation.
"Since we are dealing with postgraduate courses, reservation has to be minimal and admission has to be completely merit-based. In Preeti Srivastava's case, Your Lordships have observed that 'the level of superspecialisation there cannot be any reservation because any dilution of merit at this level would adversely affect the national goal of having the best possible people at the highest levels of professional and educational training. At the level of a super speciality, something more than a mere professional competence as a doctor is required. A super-specialist acquires expert knowledge in his speciality and is expected to possess exceptional competence and skill in his chosen field, where he may even make an original contribution in the form of new innovative techniques or new knowledge to fight diseases. It is in public interest that we promote these skills. Such high degrees of skill and expert knowledge in highly specialised areas, however, cannot be acquired by anyone or everyone. For example, specialised sophisticated knowledge and skill and ability to make right choices of treatment in critical medical conditions and even ability to innovate and device new lines of treatment in critical situations, requires high levels of intelligent understanding of medial knowledge or skill and a high ability to learn from technical literature and from experience. These high abilities are also required for absorbing highly specialised knowledge which is being imparted at this level. It is for this reason that it would be detrimental to the national interest to have reservations at this stage. Opportunities for such training are few and it is in the national interest that these are made available to those who can profit from them the most viz. the best brains in the country, irrespective of the class to which they belong'...", indicated Mr. Divan to the bench of Justices D. Y. Chandrachud and A. S. Bopanna.
"In many situations, the postgraduate course is the end of the road and the super-speciality in that particular branch, that particular department. Although there may be certain super-specialities which may go up one tier etc., this principle of super-speciality also applies so far as post-graduates are concerned", he submitted.
'The rules of the game cannot be changed belatedly'
Next, Mr. Diwan urged that the OBC/EWS reservations ought not to apply for this academic session, and that for the next academic session, there can be a lengthy argument.
"For the Neet-PG, the information brochure was released on 23 February 2021. After 23 February 2021, you cannot have a variation. The registration process itself commenced on this date. The last date for registration was 15 March 2021. Surely after 15 March 2021, you ought not to change the rules of the game. Scheduled examination date was 18 April 2021 according to the original calendar. It was postponed by four months on 3 May 2021. The new examination date was announced on 13 July 2021. The new date of the examination was 11th September. The results of the post graduates were declared on 28th of September 2021. If you interpose in this the impugned announcement, it comes even after 13 July 2021 and it comes on 29 July 2021. My submission is that this impugned notice dated 29 July 2021, which was published after five months of the start of the admission process, changed the rules of the game long after it had begun!", he elaborated.
"It has completely altered the criteria for admission by taking away 2500 seats meant for the open category. This is very grossly unfair, regardless of everything else. It ought not to be applied from this year itself. This is a very weighty argument so far is this year is concerned!", he advanced.
'An executive order cannot nullify the judgment of this court'
Mr. Diwan submitted that the All India quota of 50% was created by this court, balancing various equities which are involved and having regard to the overarching principles of Article 14 and the country as a whole. He suggested that any variation with regard to it ought to be done only by an appropriate and suitable application to this court; It cannot be done by a more executive instruction.
"This is something which has been created by the court in an overarching manner, it has stood the test of time. Should there be any variation carried out, it can be done only by approaching this court and securing a suitable departure by way of a carve out", he advanced.
"The Dr. Pradeep Jain judgment is the primary judgment which creates a right, in a manner of speaking, for candidates all over the country to participate in and to avail of these 50% seats which are there in the all India quota. This 50% n domiciliary seats was the bed-rock which subsequently gets cemented by a Constitution bench. This right is recognised and created as a dimension of Article 14, in its broadest perspective, and laid down by this court!", he told.
"In Abhay Nath v. University of Delhi, Your Lordships indicated that if this 50% is to be varied, this is how- There was an IA for SC/ST, and after due application of mind, this court allows it, saying that we recognise this is a carve out which is permitted from the 50% for SC/ST", continued Mr. Diwan.
"The impugned notice and executive order are contrary to the existing scheme. It is submitted that the counseling for the all India quota proceeds on the basis of the scheme approved by the Supreme Court. There should be a common counseling for admission to all post graduate courses in all medical educational institutions on the basis of the merit list of the NEET. The designated authority of counseling for 50% quota seats shall be conducted by the directorate general of health services. Such counseling, as per the existing scheme, shall be only for diploma and MD,MS courses. Neither the Central government nor the state government or, for that matter, no High Court can make any variation in the all India quota", he concluded.
The Supreme Court will continue hearing the case tomorrow.
For live-updates from the hearing, refer this page.



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