NEET Quota: Govt Defends Rs 8 Lakh Income Limit For EWS

OB Bureau

New Delhi: The Union government has accepted a recommendation by a Central panel to keep the annual income limit for Economically Weaker Section (EWS) quota of NEET-PG AIG (all-India quota) for the current admission cycle to Rs 8 lakh.

How other recommendations will be applied to determine income limit will be undertaken from the next admission cycle, reported The Indian Express.

The government had filed an affidavit filed in Supreme Court against several petitions challenging the July 29 notification of Medical Counselling Committee (MCC), which provided 27% reservation for other backward classes (OBCs) and 10% for economically weaker sections (EWS).

The Centre asked for four weeks’ time to review the criteria after the apex court asked it to explain how it had arrived at the Rs 8 lakh criteria.

The government stated on December 31 that it had set up a three-member committee — comprising former Finance secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey, ICSSR Member Secretary V K Malhotra and Principal Economic Advisor Sanjeev Sanyal — to re-examine the issue.

“The central government has decided to accept the recommendation… including the recommendation of applying the new criteria prospectively,” the affidavit said.

“The current gross annual family income limit for EWS of Rs 8 lakh or less may be retained. In other words only those families whose annual income is up to Rs 8 lakh would be eligible to get the benefit of EWS reservation. The definition of ‘family’ and income would remain same as those in the OM (office memorandum) dated 17th January 2019,” the government report stated.

“EWS may, however exclude, irrespective of income, a person whose family has 5 acres of agricultural land and above…. the residential asset criteria may altogether be removed,” it added.

OB Bureau

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