Explained: Why Doctors Are Protesting In Delhi

The delay in conducting NEET-PG 2021 Counselling stems from a case being heard in the Supreme Court.

It has been twenty-two days since hundreds of doctors began their protest demanding NEET-PG 2021 Counselling be expedited. On Monday, resident doctors were allegedly beaten and later detained by the Delhi Police.

The doctors were detained as they marched towards the Supreme Court demanding a fast-track hearing of cases that are causing the delay in NEET-PG Counselling.

Why Are Doctors Protesting?

Resident doctors under the Federation Of Resident Doctors Association (FORDA) have been on strike since November 27, 2021 to protest against the delay of the NEET-PG 2021 Counselling.

After completing their MBBS degree and internship, doctors are eligible to apply for a post-graduate degree in a particular specialisation. Doctors need to appear for the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test following which they join medical colleges as junior residents. These junior residents make up a significant portion of doctors available in medical colleges and hospitals.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Board of Examination postponed NEET from January to April and further pushed it to September.

The FORDA stated that the repeated delays in NEET-PG 2021 Counselling has led to a shortage of junior resident doctors, causing the resident doctors to be overburdened, especially due to the pandemic.

Resident doctors began the protest by withdrawing their services from OPD. In a statement on December 4, the FORDA announced that due to their grievances not being addressed, they would be escalating their protest by withdrawing from all routine services from December 6 onwards. This was further escalated to include withdrawal from regular and emergency services as well.

Why Is There A Delay In NEET PG Counselling?

The delay in conducting NEET-PG 2021 Counselling stems from a case being heard in the Supreme Court. According to Medical Counselling Committee, its order from July 30, 2021 instituting OBC and EWS reservation in All India Quota has been challenged in court with a hearing set for January 6, 2022.

85 per cent of UG seats and 50 per cent of PG seats in state medical government colleges are allotted via reservation as per the state government's criteria.

As per the All India Quota scheme, the remaining 15 per cent of UG seats and 50 per cent of PG seats are filled via National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET).

Under the AIQ, 15 per cent of seats are reserved for candidates from SC communities while 7.5 per cent of seats are reserved for students from ST communities.

On July 30, 2021, the Union Government announced 27 per cent of all seats will be reserved for students from OBC categories with 10 per cent from EWS category. These reservations are over and above the seats reserved for SC and ST students.

According to the Health Ministry, 1,500 OBC students in MBBS and 2,500 OBC students in postgraduate courses, and around 550 and 1,000 EWS students respectively would benefit from the reservation.

On December 10, 2021, the MCC said in a statement that the it's July 30 order is under challenge in the Supreme Court which has led to the delay in NEET-UG/PG Counselling.

A three-member Supreme Court bench led by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud expressed it's concerns over the Union Government setting a minimum limit of Rs 8 lakh annual income for students to seek reserved seats under the EWS quota.

The court ordered the Union Government to file an affidavit to clarify on what basis Rs 8 lakh was adopted as a minimum criteria for EWS reservation and set January 6, 2022 as the next date of the hearing.

Updated On: 2021-12-28T18:25:02+05:30
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