[New NEET PG Counselling Scheme 2023] “Deprives PwD candidates right of reservation”: Plea Before Top Court

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The plea also challenges the Conversion of seats/Conversion Algorithm PwD quota to Non-PwD Quota and general quota in third round of counselling for P.G. Diploma/Degree courses for the academic year 2023-24, from amongst all candidates who appeared for the NEET PG 2023

A plea has been filed before the Supreme Court against the New NEET PG Counselling Scheme 2023 stating that it deprives the Persons with Disabilities (PwD) candidates from their valid right of reservation.

“The New NEET PG Counselling 2023 is the complete departure from the aforesaid objectives. This scheme deprives the PwD candidate from their valid right of reservation”, the plea stated.

The plea filed through Advocates Rohit Singh and Ritu Reniwal stated that for academic year 2023-24, the Ministry of health and family welfare (MoHFW) and National Medical Commission (NMC) have not lowered the minimum qualifying percentile criteria in any of the category of PwD Candidates. This decision of MoHFW & NMC is also a clear the departure from their last 6 years trend, it said.

“Since 2017 from the start of NEET PG Exam to the last year NEET PG Exam 2022, MoHFW & NMC while invoking the proviso of Regulation 9 (3) of PG Medical Exam Regulation 2000 have always lowered the cut-off criteria every year in second round of PG Counselling in order to fill the vacant PG Seats. Though lot of seats are still lying vacant in the current academic 2023-24, as per the MCC website, MoHFW & NMC have not taken any decision to reduce the minimum percentile criteria in any of the category”, the plea read.

It stated that there is every likelihood that MOFHW and NMC will reduce the minimum percentile criteria before the start of the stray vacancy round because a lot of PG Seats are still lying vacant in the third round of PG Counselling.

In the New NEET PG Counselling Scheme 2023, a seat Conversion Algorithm is provided in Chapter 3. “According to this Algorithm all the PwD seats including PwD SC/ST/OBC will be transferred to their higher Non-PwD Category in third round of Counselling. Therefore, at the end of third round of counselling there will be no seats available in the category of PwD”, the plea added.

The plea further stated that this Conversion Algorithm was “taking all the fundamental rights” of petitioners to claim a seat in the PwD category as the same was given to them in the reservation policy of the NEET PG 2023 Exam. “Policy of Reservation reveals a broader right whereas conversion algorithm is just a procedure adopted by the counselling committee”, it said.

Case Title: Mohd. Faisal & Anr. v. Union of India & Ors.