Will revisit Rs 8 lakh annual income criteria for EWS quota, Centre tells SC

A bench of Justices DY Chandrachud, Surya Kant, and Vikram Nath was informed by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta that a committee will be constituted to determine the criteria for EWS and it would take four weeks.

The Centre on Thursday told the Supreme Court that it will revisit the Rs 8 lakh annual income criteria for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) to be eligible for reservation benefits.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, conveyed this to a bench headed by Justice D Y Chandrachud and sought four weeks’ time for the same.

The question of the EWS criteria had arisen in the context of its introduction in the NEET (All India Quota), counselling for which had been put on hold earlier, pending a final decision on a petition challenging the quota rules.

On Thursday, the SG assured the bench, also comprising Justices Surya Kant and Vikram Nath, that the counselling will be deferred by four weeks.

Hearing the plea earlier, the SC had asked the Centre to explain what exercise it had undertaken to arrive at the Rs 8 lakh annual income criteria to identify EWS students eligible for reservation in medical seats under the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test – All India Quota (NEET-AIQ).

The top court is hearing a batch of pleas filed by students challenging the Centre and Medical Counselling Committee’s (MCC) July 29 notice, providing 27 per cent reservation for Other Backward Class (OBC) and 10 per cent for EWS category in the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET-PG) admissions for medical courses for the current academic year.

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