NEET-PG counseling for 45,000 seats from January 12: Health Ministry

SGT Times Reporter

New Delhi, January 9

The Ministry of Health on Sunday in a much-awaited move said the process of counseling for admission to NEET-PG (National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test, Postgraduate) courses would start from January 12.

The NEET-PG was held on September 11 last after being rescheduled twice and counseling was to start in October after the proclamation of results.

The process was postponed after a slew of petitions in the Supreme Court questioned July 29, 2021, notification of the government. The notification provided 27 percent qualm to Other Backward Classes and 10 percent to Economically Sufficiently ailing Sections in All India Quota (AQI) Scheme of the Centre for undergraduate and postgraduate medical, dental courses from the academic year 2021-22.

The petitions challenged the applicability of the Rs 8-lakh annual income limit for the EWS beneficiaries while calling for merit-based admissions with minimum reservation in medical PG courses. The Supreme Court on Friday passed an interim order allowing the reservations and said there was an urgent need to commence counseling.

“Following the assurance given to resident doctors by the Health Ministry and following the Supreme Court orders, the Medical Counseling Committee will begin counseling for NEET-PG admissions from January 12.

 This will boost India’s efforts to fight Covid-19. Congratulations to all aspirants,” Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya tweeted today.

On July 29 last year, the Centre had announced 27 percent and 10 percent reservations (for both UG and PG courses) for students taking entrance against all-India quota seats in the state-level medical and dental colleges.

The AQI Scheme was introduced in 1986 under the surveillance of the Supreme Court to provide domicile-free, merit-based possibilities to students from any state aspiring to study in a good medical college located in another state.

 The AQI consists of 15 percent of the total available UG and 50 percent of the total available postgraduate seats in government medical colleges.

Initially, there was no reservation in the AQI Scheme up to 2007. In 2007, the SC introduced a reservation of 15 percent for SCs and 7.5 percent for STs in the AQI Scheme.

When the Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Admission) Act became effective in 2007 providing for uniform 27 percent reservation to OBCs, the same was conducted in Central Educational Institutions, namely Safdarjung Hospital, Lady Hardinge Medical College, Aligarh Muslim University, Banaras Hindu University, and others.

But this was not extended to the AQI seats of state medical and dental colleges. July 29, 2021, notification filled the gap.

The decision will annually benefit 1,500 OBC students in MBBS and 2,500 OBC students in PG courses, besides 550 EWS students in MBBS and 1,000 EWS students in PG courses.

With the counseling set to commence, medical colleges will have a fresh pool of NEET-PG students to be enlisted in the fight against Covid-19.

Resident doctors across various colleges had been protesting the delay in NEET-PG counseling. Nearly 45,000 seats will be filled through the counseling.

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