The Supreme Court on Wednesday condemned the Medical Counselling Committee (MCC) on the situation of 1,456 vacant seats in NEET PG-2021 saying if students are not given admission, then it will pass orders and also grant them compensation.
A Bench, comprising Justices MR Shah and Aniruddha Bose, came down heavily on the Centre and MCC and warned them that they are playing with the future of Indian students.
"Even if the single course has remained vacant...It's your duty to see that they don't remain vacant. You're playing with the future of students...," said the bench, adding that in May, despite realising that the seats were vacant, the authorities didn’t conduct a mop-up round.
Mop-up round in NEET is usually the counselling process provided by respective states, against the reverted seats from All India Quota (AIQ). It is also termed as the second last step for NEET Admission. The seats that remain vacant after 1st and 2nd round counselling are filled up by the Mop up round for NEET. The candidates who did not get the seat allotment in the NEET second round counselling are eligible to participate in this round.
Here’s a chronology of how the Supreme Court has dealt with the matter of All India Quota since the past few months :
Why has NEET-PG posed problems for candidates?
Prior to 2020, the NEET PG was held every year in January. However, because final-year MBBS students across the country were deployed for COVID-19-related responsibilities during the first year of the coronavirus pandemic, no NEET-PG was organised for the entire year.
Many students sought exit from the seats they have already joined
Aspirants of NEET-PG approached the Supreme Court seeking to withdraw from seats they had already taken as part of the second round of counselling in the All India Quota (AIQ) of the counselling process without having to pay a hefty penalty.
The plea went on to state that if penalties are not imposed by the states, the said seat will not go to waste as the same can be put up in the stray round and/or any special round of counselling and/or in the subsequent NEET – PG counselling.
Candidates seek vacant seats after the conduct of a stray vacant round of All India Quota
A plea was filed in Supreme Court, seeking a Special Stray Round of counselling to allow the candidates to participate for the vacant seats available.
After which, it listed before the vacation bench of Justices MR Shah and Aniruddha Bose, in which relief was also sought for directing the MCC to submit the precise number of vacant seats after the conduct of the stray vacancy round of AIQ.
The Supreme Court’s concerns
The Bench stated that in May, when the authorities got to know that the seats were vacant, they should have conducted a mop up round. "What would you get in leaving the seat vacant when we are in need of doctors?...Where are we leading? Why is there no streamline? And stress less the education system. Do you know the stress level of the students & the parents?,” said the bench.
Meanwhile, NEET-PG 2022 result has also been declared and the counselling is expected to begin soon. The dates for the NEET PG 2022 Counselling would be shared by MCC on its website.