NEET PG Counselling 2021: Supreme Court case, delay, protests, year without admission, story so far

NEET PG 2021: Considering various factors including patient care, FORDA called off the strike on December 31.

NEET PG Counselling 2021: Supreme Court case, delay, protests, year without admission, story so far NEET PG Counselling 2021: Story so far (Image Source: Official Twitter Account of FORDA)
Vagisha Kaushik | Jan 1, 2022 - 11:40 a.m. IST
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NEW DELHI: It’s been 2 months and a week since the Medical Counselling Committee (MCC) put a hold on the National Eligibility Entrance Test or NEET PG counselling 2021, leaving more than 42,000 aspiring doctors in a clueless and desolate land, (no) thanks to the pending case in the Supreme Court.

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While students were still battling with the consequences of COVID-19 pandemic, which hit the world in 2020 and became more deadly during a second wave in the early months of 2021, they were looking for a ray of hope in 2021 which instead led them to a dark tunnel where all they could hear were the voices of their dreams shattering.

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From court case to doctors being manhandled by police, so much has happened since October 25, the day when counselling was supposed to start. Let’s virtually travel back to day one:

NEET PG 2021: Supreme Court case

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On September 17, the Supreme Court agreed to hear a batch of pleas against the July 29 notice providing 27% reservation for Other Backward Classes (OBC) and 10% for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) category in 15% UG and 50% PG All India Quota seats (MBBS or BDS and MD, MS, MDS) with effect from the academic session 2021-22.

Also Read | Year-Ender 2021: Why Kerala’s MBBS students may miss NEET PG 2022

On October 21, the top court asked the Centre whether it would like to revisit the limit of rupees eight lakh annual income fixed for determining the EWS category.

On October 25, MCC put NEET PG counselling 2021 on hold due to the pending case.

NEET PG counselling delay

Exactly after a month, on November 25, the Centre told the Supreme Court that it has decided to review Rs 8 lakh criteria for determining EWS category in NEET All India Quota (AIQ) and will come up with a fresh decision within four weeks.

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Solicitor General Tushar Mehta assured that NEET PG counselling 2021 remains deferred till then. Soon, the Centre formed a committee to review the criteria.

Protest over delay in NEET PG counselling 2021

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The top court’s decision saw immediate response and the Federation of Resident Doctors’ Association (FORDA) announced to call for nationwide withdrawal of Out Patient Department (OPD) services from November 27 onwards due to repeated delays and postponement of NEET PG counselling 2021. The next Supreme Court hearing is scheduled for January 6, 2022.

Also Read | NEET Counselling 2021: MCC to conduct 4 rounds of AIQ counselling

On November 18, the Federation of All India Medical Association (FAIMA) had written to the Chief Justice of India to expedite NEET PG counselling 2021 process but it went in vain.

Resident doctors came on roads to protest and OPD services got affected. After getting no response from the stakeholders, FORDA announced to withdraw from all services including emergency services.

NEET PG 2021: A year without admission

For the first time in medical history, a year is about to pass without a single admission to PG medical courses.

As the protests moved to the last month of 2021, union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya said that MoHFW will try to get the NEET PG 2021 counselling case delinked from that regarding reservation policy. FORDA put on hold the protest for a week considering the plea of the ministry of health and family welfare for early hearing of the case.

Also Read | ‘Even 1 year is crucial’: Why delay in NEET PG counselling has led to doctors' strike today

Tired of false promises, doctors resumed protests on December 17, this time in front of the health ministry. And instead of being timid, they used the token of fear on the government by announcing mass resignation and marching towards the Supreme Court, if demands not met.

Less did they know, that the front-line warriors and life saviours will be manhandled by police. On December 27, protest in Delhi over the delay took a dramatic turn, as doctors and police personnel faced off in streets, with both sides claiming several people suffered injury in the ensuing melee.

Calling it a ‘black day’ for the medical fraternity, the All India Medical Students' Association said, "2,500 resident doctors have been detained at Sarojini Nagar police station in Delhi."

NEET PG: Present day scenario

From the Indian Medical Association (IMA) to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, people have written to Prime Minister Modi seeking his intervention and urging him to resolve the issue soon as the protests turned violent.

Also Read | Year-Ender 2021: How a NEET PG aspirant handled the year of delays

It's 2022 today and this new year, doctors' resolution seems to seek justice. However, understanding their responsibilities and considering various factors including patient care, the Federation of Resident Doctors' Association (FORDA) called off the strike on December 31.


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